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On Drugs

Each week, On Drugs looks through the lenses of history, pop culture and personal experience to understand how drugs have shaped our world. Because even if it’s just caffeine or ibuprofen, there’s a good chance you’re on drugs right now.

  • 01:02:13
    Opioid drugs have claimed a shocking number of lives across North America in recent years, as people fall victim to overdose. While the intensity of crisis is new, our relationship with opiates — and opioids, as they're often referred to now — goes back millennia. This is an overdose crisis thousands of years in the making, and in this episode, Geoff Turner dives into that fascinating history to figure out how we got to this point.
    May 7, 2018
  • 35:23
    It's just one more week until the season two finale of On Drugs, but in the meantime, enjoy this favourite from last season. It's all about Miltown, a drug that is mostly forgotten today, but helped create modern psychopharmacology. We're proud to announce that this episode is nominated for Best Podcast at the 2018 Radio Television Digital News Association awards.
    May 1, 2018
  • 43:25
    This episode goes behind bars to learn how Canadian prisons form a nexus of drug crime, trade and addiction. We'll meet people in prison because of crimes committed in the throes of addiction and learn about how prisoners cope with addiction in custody.
    Apr 24, 2018
  • 34:52
    A feature interview with Bill Blair, the former Toronto Police Chief now in charge of implementing the federal government's cannabis legalization law. He reflects on the transition from drug law enforcement to legalization and regulation.
    Apr 22, 2018
  • 01:07:20
    Addiction treatment and recovery is a 37 billion dollar industry in North America. Yet despite decades of research and practice, there's still no surefire way to get people clear of substance dependency. In the absence of consistent standards and availability of care, people looking for help can get lost in the search for support. This episode explores the history and present of addiction rehab and recovery.
    Apr 17, 2018
  • 32:19
    The Narcotic Farm in Lexington Kentucky played a major part in shaping the culture around mid-century heroin use in the United States, as well as our understanding of the science of addiction. This week, On Drugs digs into the history of this unique institution and what went on there.
    Apr 9, 2018
  • 39:18
    We're hard at work putting together the next new episode, but in the meantime, here's a favourite from last season. It's deep look at the intersection of music, drugs and creativity. Enjoy.
    Apr 2, 2018
  • 57:03
    Host Geoff Turner is back in Colorado for part two of his road trip to see what Canada can learn from four years of legal cannabis in the Rocky Mountain State.
    Mar 26, 2018
  • 32:30
    We're busy working on next week’s show, but I wanted to share another CBC Original Podcast I think you might like. It’s called Personal Best. I wouldn’t be doing it justice to call it a self improvement show, because it’s a lot more than that. In an episode called the Doppelganger, we meet Julia - she’s struggling to find a way to communicate her authentic self through texting and technology. It’s trippy and fun and it has all kinds of heart. Please give it a listen!
    Mar 23, 2018
  • 33:53
    Cannabis will be legal and regulated across Canada later this year, but Colorado has a four year head start on ending prohibition. Host Geoff Turner travelled to the Rocky Mountain State to see how legalization looks, four years on.
    Mar 20, 2018
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