On Drugswith Geoff Turner


Listen to On Drugs

On Drugs looks through the lenses of history, pop culture and personal experience to understand how drugs have shaped our world.

The opioid overdose crisis was thousands of years in the making

The death toll from the opioid overdose crisis in North America continues to be staggering, but our complicated relationship with opioid drugs goes back to ancient times.

Think prison forces an end to drug addiction? Think again

18 per cent of Canada's federal prison population are in jail because of drug-related offences. But that number is only a hint at all the ways drug crime, addiction and trade intersect behind prison walls in Canada.

Can this small town rebound as Canada's cannabis capital?

In an exclusive digital extra for On Drugs, host Geoff Turner takes you on a guided tour of Smiths Falls, a town ready to capitalize on legal weed.

Rehab, recovery and the history of 12-step thinking

In North America, addiction, treatment and recovery is a 37 billion dollar industry. But in the absence of consistent standards, people looking for help can get lost in the search for support.

What if drug addicts went to a farm instead of a prison? It happened in Kentucky.

In the hills of Lexington, officials built a massive institution for U.S. drug addicts. Here's what happened next.

Why legal weed doesn't root out illegal grow-ops

In part two of his Colorado road trip, Geoff Turner leaves Denver and visits Mesa County, where the black market hasn't only survived legalization, it has flourished.

What Canada can learn about legal pot from Colorado

Cannabis will be legal and regulated across Canada tomorrow, but Colorado has a four-year head start on ending prohibition. Host Geoff Turner travelled to Colorado to see what legalization looks like.

Clinical drug trials: The strange world of human guinea pigs

Before pharmaceuticals find their way to your medicine chest, they are subjected to batteries of tests for safety and efficacy. Those tests begin with animals, but eventually scientists need to try out the drugs on people.

Overdose in Mormon country: An alternative tour of Utah

This episode explores why Utah — a state where 60 per cent of the population identifies as Mormon — has one of the highest rates of drug overdose death in the U.S.

How caffeine became the world's most widely used psychoactive drug

This episode spills the surprising history behind your cup of Joe — including a caffeine-fueled moral panic at the beginning of the last century.

The long, strange story of pot prohibition in Canada

This episode of On Drugs explores how cannabis went from unknown, illegal and vilified to the present day, where it’s considered medicine and the foundation of a multi-billion dollar industry.
On Drugs

Just say no: How some communities are fighting pot legalization

Legalization is imminent but several Canadian towns and cities aren't keen on selling cannabis in their communities. Here's why they are fighting back.

Psychedelics and Spirituality

It would come as no surprise to a shaman, but for some people who experiment with powerful drugs like DMT or ayahuasca, the experience can feel profoundly spiritual.

Get ready for a new season of On Drugs

If you've been craving a fix of the CBC original podcast, On Drugs, the wait is nearly over. Season 2 launches February 13.

Time to binge on season one of On Drugs

Season One of On Drugs is now complete, so it's a great time to get caught up on any episodes you missed this summer.

Gender, On Drugs

Like pretty much everything that matters, our relationship with drugs is gendered. The drugs we choose - legal and illicit - and the ways we use them, are at least partly determined by gender expectations. This episode explores how those expectations affect our relationships with drugs.
On Drugs

Stronger, smarter, happier - what if a drug could make you a better version of yourself?

From drinking coffee to taking tiny doses of LSD, people are using drugs to improve themselves every day. If a pill could make you a better version of yourself, would you take it?
On Drugs

Drugs for fun: why do we feel so bad about feeling good?

If most drug users take substances because it feels good, why is pleasure always left out of policy conversations about drugs?
On Drugs

Miltown: a game-changing drug you've probably never heard of

The drug known as "Miltown" was once a Hollywood phenomenon, and formed the basis of how we treat anxiety today. So why have you never heard of it?
On Drugs

City on drugs: the dark pull of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside

If you want to learn about drug addiction, Vancouver is a good place to start. The city has struggled with opioid abuse nearly as long as it's existed. In the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood, thousands of people live with addiction, along with a painful combination of other issues.

Spanish fly, chemsex and 'female Viagra:' why drugs and sex don't always mix

The relationship people have with drugs is complicated and a little bit messy, but not as messy as the relationship people have had with sex throughout history. Combine the two and things get interesting.

Drugs: What's race got to do with it?

Drugs don't exist in a vacuum. In many cases, they've been used to prop up mythologies around race and justify discriminatory policies against already struggling communities.

Drugs, more drugs, and rock & roll

The connection between drugs and rock and roll is a comic and tragic cliche. On Drugs gets past the cliches and explores the intersection of drugs and music from classical to hip hop.

Opioids, addiction and our troubled history with pain

Of all the reasons people use drugs, the suppression and management of pain are perhaps the most fundamental. But in spite of tremendous advances in medication, our relationship with drugs and pain is still fraught with moral and chemical challenges.