Jim Gearhart was stunned when he read the conclusions of a Washington Post / CBS special report on prescription opioids — showing the government fighting the wrong side of the drug war.

In 2016, as the nation grappled with an epidemic spiraling out of control, a handful of Congress members and the nation's biggest drug distributors got together to weaken drug enforcement efforts — making it easier to get drugs in the hands of corrupt doctors and pharmacists who put the drugs on the black market, the report found.

"The biggest enabler ... turns out to be the U.S. government," Jim says in latest installment of the Jim Gearhart Show podcast, available here as well on iTunes and Google PlaySend Jim your thoughts or suggestions for an upcoming episode: Jim@nj1015.com.

It's yet another aspect of the same calamity New Jersey 101.5 has been exploring through "Heroin Uncut: The Truth About the Crisis," an ongoing special podcast and video report. There, you'll learn that 8 in 10 deadly opioid addictions begin in a doctor's office — legit or otherwise. And some doctors are nothing more than pill pushers in white coats.

Jim was particularly stunned by the story of how drug company Miami-Luken was allowed to send 20 millions of doses of oxycodone and hydrocodone to pharmacies in West Virginia. One county, Mingo, received 11 million — even though it only has a population of 25,000.

Jim did the math: That's 24,194 pills per resident.

"This is man, woman, callow youth, nubile daughter, suckling babe," Jim said.

The report said there were 52,277 prescription opioid deaths since 2000. Jim can't help but wonder how many of those legislators in Big Pharma's pocket share the blame for.

And don't go looking to blame one party or the other. All of that was approved under President Barack Obama. But then President Donald Trump nominated Rep. Tom Marino — a chief advocate of the looser regulations — to become the nation’s next drug czar.

"If ever there was a fox in the henhouse, in charge of henhouse security — this stuff is all incredible," Jim says.

That's it's just part of what Jim takes on in the latest installment of his podcast. Check out the full episode below to hear the rest. Email Jim at Jim@NJ1015.com.

The Jim Gearhart Podcast is available every week on New Jersey 101.5 and in the New Jersey 101.5 app. You can also subscribe with your favorite podcasting app for iPhones, Android devices or your computer:

Love podcasts?

Be sure to check out "Heroin Uncut: The Truth About the Crisis," a blunt, honest look at how we got so deep into an addiction epidemic. This week, host Jay Lassiter celebrates the heroes of the crisis — and puts its villains on notice.

Also check out Forever 39, Annette and Megan's new podcast about turning 40 — and loving life along the way. This week, they discover: Women are way more inclined to accept each other as sexually fluid than they are to accept flexible men.

And in Speaking Millennial, Bill, Jay and Jessica are joined by millennial, comedian, and teacher Troy Moore to discuss ... the pains that come with opening for Jay.

— Townsquare Media staff

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