From Miami Vice, to The Wire, to Orange Is the New Black, scripted TV shows have had a serious and sometimes unrecognized impact on public attitudes about drugs in America.
For years, people who used drugs were treated like criminals, often given long sentences. Now there's growing acceptance that addiction is a treatable disease, but shame and discrimination linger.
Researchers know how to curb the risks of overdose and disease among drug users, but policymakers are reluctant to allow public health measures that include needle exchanges and access to safer drugs.
Oregon's bold move to decriminalize small amounts of all hard drugs and expand treatment is now meeting the reality of implementation as the treatment community is divided over the way forward.
President Nixon called for an "all-out offensive" against drugs and addiction. The U.S. is now rethinking policies that led to mass incarceration and shattered families while drug deaths kept rising.