The images in this story were updated on May 6, 2019.
How do drug epidemics end?
That's the big, decades-spanning question we're asking this season on The Uncertain Hour. It's a more personal, urgent question for the people of Wise County, Virginia. It's a rural community in the Appalachian Mountains, considered ground zero for the opioid epidemic. The 40,000 people who live here have had some of the highest opioid prescription rates in the country. One town had five prescriptions for every man, woman and child.
The whole county has been hit hard by addiction, and we've spent this season talking with people who are affected by it and the cops, lawyers, doctors and advocates trying to fight the worst drug epidemic this country has ever seen. Below, find out first episode about Wise as you explore some the photos and videos we captured this season.
“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA
As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.
Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.
The Uncertain Hour dives in to one controversial topic each season to bust long-standing myths and find the origin stories of the world we live in. Because the things we fight the most about are the things we know the least about.
The third season starts with a strange and little-known...