The Uncertain Hour

Scenes from the opioid epidemic: Wise County, Virginia

Apr 22, 2019
Explore some of the photos and videos from this season of The Uncertain Hour.
A snowy day in January at the Wise County line.
Ben Hethcoat/Marketplace
The Uncertain Hour

As jail costs pile up, one county is taking a new approach to community service

Apr 11, 2019
The opioid epidemic is filling jails. Wise County, Virginia, is looking for alternatives.
Mitzi Bowen, 44, of Wise, Virginia, cleans up after a resident moved out of the Commonwealth Apartments on Dec. 7, 2018. Bowen said she became addicted to opioids after her dentist prescribed Lortabs for tooth pain. "One day I woke up and I couldn't feel good without the pills," she said.
Julia Rendleman/Marketplace
The Uncertain Hour

The opioid epidemic in 5 charts

Apr 9, 2019
Putting the numbers in broader context.
Dr. Gurcharan Kanwal lost his medical license after an investigation by the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force found that he was running a "pill mill," or distributing drugs without a legitimate medical purpose, out of this building in Coeburn, Virginia.
Julia Rendleman for Marketplace
The Uncertain Hour

Opioids made it impossible to run his family business, so he became an undercover cop

Apr 3, 2019
Bucky Culbertson's career has followed the booms and busts of Wise County, up to his current job fighting the opioid epidemic.
Bucky Culbertson in his office, January 2019.
Ben Hethcoat/Marketplace

From cringeworthy to scary: a history of anti-drug PSAs

Mar 26, 2019
We remember anti-drug PSAs for reasons their makers didn't intend.
Illustration by Rose Conlon, images courtesy of Partnership for a Drug-Free America, National Crime Prevention Council and Truth.
The Uncertain Hour

30 years ago, George H.W. Bush held up a baggie of crack on live TV. Where'd he get it?

Mar 21, 2019
This season on The Uncertain Hour, we tell that story.
President George H.W. Bush addressing the nation on Sept. 5, 1989. The president illustrated the threat of drugs by holding up a baggie of crack he said had been seized across the street from the White House.
Courtesy: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum

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