The Gist

American Carnage? It’s Real.

The opioid epidemic inflicted warlike casualties for years before getting national attention.

Listen to Slate’s The Gist:

Listen to The Gist via Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play

On The Gist, Rep. Ilhan Omar and Israel.

In the interview, the Guardian’s Chris McGreal covered the deadly toll opiates take on poor American communities “long before it became fashionable because of Trump.” He speaks to Purdue Pharma’s zealous campaign to push OxyContin (“a chemical cousin of heroin,” in the words of the New Yorker) onto doctors and patients—and the federal government’s failure to stop it. McGreal is the author of American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts.

In the Spiel, another Lobstar of the Antentwig.

Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at

Join the discussion of this episode on Facebook.

Twitter: @slategist

Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Pierre Bienaimé.