Carole Blueweiss

Retired FBI Agent Reflects On Opioid Crisis

Episode Summary

Our last episode explored addiction from the perspective of loved ones. In this episode, we are looking at the opioid crisis from the point of view of a retired FBI agent, Aaron Weeter, who spent 25 years specializing in drug-related crimes. From his frontline perspective, we learn how the opioid epidemic of the 90s spread to become the fentanyl epidemic we have today. 

For the visually-minded who prefer to listen and read or for those who need closed captioning, watch the transcript video here: https://youtu.be/oXq6XJ_z-HI

About Aaron Weeter

Beginning in 1998, Aaron served for over 23 years as a Special Agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Washington, D.C. Field Office.  He served for twenty years as a case agent and three years as a supervisor investigating matters primarily involving white-collar/financial crimes in the areas of healthcare fraud and prescription drug diversion and distribution.  During this time, Aaron also worked on a variety of national/office-wide cases including the 9-11, D.C. Sniper and January 6th investigations among others.  Aaron is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Fraud Examiner.  He retired from the FBI in late 2021 and recently started a fraud consulting business.  Much of Aaron’s FBI investigative work focused on the illegal distribution of pharmaceutical narcotics and other controlled substances by physicians, pharmacists and street-level dealers.  He opened his first “pill case” in early 1999 in the early stages of what would become the pill epidemic and through dozens of cases thereafter, had a window into the evolution of the pill epidemic and its influence on the current fentanyl epidemic gripping the U.S.  

More to Watch and Read

Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict – a documentary made by the FBI & DEA

Dr. Feelgood: Dealer or Healer? – a documentary about Dr. William Hurwitz, a Virginia physician who served nearly five years in prison for drug trafficking

Anonymous Sister – a documentary where director Jamie Boyle explores her family’s collision with the opioid epidemic

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed – a documentary about artist and activist Nan Goldin and her personal fight to hold the Sackler family accountable for the opioid overdose crisis

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver – a novel that shows the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic on a young boy in Appalachia

Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy – the definitive account of America’s opioid epidemic

Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America’s Overdose Crisis by Beth Macy – a sequel to Dopesick

Dopesick – Hulu limited series remake of Beth Macy’s book 

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe – a book that describes the Sackler family and their role in the opioid epidemic

The Family That Built an Empire of Pain – article by Patrick Radden Keefe that led to the book

What Can Be Done?

Words Matter – Terms to Use and Avoid When Talking About Addiction

https://www.cdc.gov/opioids/basics/fentanyl.html: 

https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/prevention/index.html

Fentanyl Test Strips

Find Narcan Near You

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use disorder, SAMHSA’s (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information. You can also visit https://www.samhsa.gov

How opioid addiction occurs – Mayo Clinic

List of Treatment Facilities and Support Groups

Drug Takeback Programs

Safe Drug Disposal

Related Episodes

Addiction to Sobriety: A Mother’s Journey

Anonymous Sister

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The Wisdom Shared Team

  • Audio Engineering by Steve Heatherington of Good Podcasting Works
  • Production Assistant and Marketing Coordinator: Kayla Nelson

Find and Follow Carole and Wisdom Shared:

The Wisdom Shared Team

  • Audio Engineering by Steve Heatherington of Good Podcasting Works
  • Co-Producer and Marketing Coordinator: Kayla Nelson
  • Production Assistant: Becki Leigh

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