addiction

AP: China's hidden, growing opioid crisis

In this image, small round white oxycodone pills spill out of a prescription bottle
Oxycodone, an addictive narcotic pain reliever. Photo: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A lack of treatment options, overprescription and little official understanding of the scale of painkiller abuse in China are likely contributing to the spread of opioid addiction in the country, per AP analyses.

What's happening: Drug company Mundipharma has "pushed ever larger doses" of painkillers like OxyContin in China, "even as it became clear that higher doses present higher risks," AP found in November. Mundipharma is owned by the Sackler family, which also owns Purdue Pharma, the OxyContin maker accused of helping fuel the U.S. opioid crisis.

Pope Francis' advice: No phones at the table

Pope Francis sends a message on a phone during an audience with altar servers at the Vatican in 2018. Photo: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

Pope Francis urged us to talk to each other during meals instead of using our phones during his weekly Angelus address in St. Peter’s Square, per Reuters.

What he's saying: "I ask myself if you, in your family, know how to communicate or are you like those kids at meal tables where everyone is chatting on their mobile phone ... where there is silence like at a Mass but they don’t communicate?"

Go deeper: Phone addicts are the new drunk drivers