POLITICO's Pulse Check

Meet the woman leading the nation's war on addiction

Episode Summary

Nora Volkow is America's top scientist on addiction. And she's worried that by focusing on the opioid crisis, we're missing a chance to fight what caused it in the first place.

Episode Notes

Nora Volkow has run the National Institute on Drug Abuse for 15 years — long enough to serve three presidents, to see the science of addiction evolve and to witness the rise of the opioid crisis (and try to fight it).

Nora sat down with POLITICO's Dan Diamond to discuss her unusual background — a Mexican who ended up leading the U.S. agency that investigates drug abuse and addiction — as well as the causes of addiction, what the government is doing to fight it and which movie or TV show actually gets the problem right.


NIDA's work on addiction science, which informs international efforts.

Nora's own research, as a practicing scientist.

Brianna Ehley's recent POLITICO story on the rise of deaths from meth, cocaine and other drugs.