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Drug Overdose Deaths In The U.S.; Usain Bolt`s Work With Olympic Sports Group; A Phone That Allows Dogs To "Call" Their Owners. Aired 4- 4:10a ET

Aired November 19, 2021 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz, wrapping up the week here on CNN 10. Thank you for stopping by. For years, the United States has been

wrestling with the problem of drug abuse. In 2016, we reported that prescription drug and heroine abuse was exploding in America. In early

2018, CNN`s Dr. Sanjay Gupta noted that someone died from an accidental overdose every 19 minutes. By the end of that year, CNN reported these

deaths occurred every eight minutes and now they`re happening every five minutes.

For the first time ever over a 12-month period, the U.S. recorded more than 100,000 deaths from a drug overdose. That took place from last spring to

this spring. Health officials say the spike in overdose deaths starting during the lockdowns of the corona virus pandemic, and they blame that

pandemic for playing a role in this. In most of the drug deaths, almost 2/3 of them, opioids, synthetic pain killers, were a factor.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: This has been a -- an issue long before the pandemic, but it is clear that the problem has -- has

never been worse. And I want to -- and I want to break it down a little bit for you. First of all, the numbers that you see on the screen reflect

a one-year period, as you mentioned between April of 2020 and April of 2021, right in the middle of this pandemic.

More than 100,000 people have died of drug overdoses, and to give you an idea that`s a significant increase compared the year before. But I think

it`s also worth just digging a little bit deeper and -- and understanding the problem. Most of this is from opioids and most of this is specifically

from a type of opioid known as fentanyl.

ANNE MILGRAM, DEA ADMINISTRATOR: Each year alone, DEA has seen enough fentanyl to provide every member of the United States population with a

lethal dose. And we are still seizing more fentanyl each and every day.


AZUZ: So what exactly is fentanyl? This is an incredibly potent synthetic drug. It`s said to be 50 to 100 times stronger than other painkillers. It

was developed to help treat cancer patients in severe pain, but it`s also been used to cut or be blended with other illegal drugs. Because elicit

pills that contain fentanyl are often made to look like prescription pills, some of the people who abuse them don`t even know they`re taking fentanyl

and it`s so potent that it`s causing overdoses and deaths.

Who`s abusing it? Millions. Before the pandemic hit, CNN estimated that more than 10 million Americans ages 12 and older had misused opioids in

2019. We can assume from the new statistics that that`s increased over the past year, and the majority of this abuse was of prescription painkillers.

So, people getting these pills illegally are in greater danger of getting fentanyl laced drugs. Where are they coming from? The U.S. Drug

Enforcement Administration says most of the illegal fentanyl is manufactured in Mexico and then it`s smuggled into the U.S. Some of it has

also come from India and China.

Over the years, several presidents have faced this problem. In 2016, the Obama Administration set aside $1 billion to address the drug epidemic

which included heroin and opioids. In 2018, the Trump Administration dedicated $6 billion to the fight against opioids, and this year the Biden

Administration has put $4 billion towards combating overdose deaths.

10 Second Trivia. What event made Olympics history in 1968? The 1st Special Olympics, the 1st United Korean Team, the African Nations Boycott,

or Volleyball`s Olympic Debut. In 1968, the first Special Olympics was held in Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.

About 1,000 athletes took part in those games according to Encyclopedia Britannica. They were all from the U.S. and Canada, and now the Special

Olympics Organization says 5.5 million athletes from more than 190 countries participate in Special Olympics programs. The organization has

always encouraged people with intellectual disabilities to participate in sports, but its mission goes beyond that.

The Special Olympics also aims to overcome the discrimination this group has faced. Worldwide, it has more than 1 million coaches and volunteers.

It has support from businesses, governments and individuals and that includes the World Record Holder for fastest 100 meter and 200-meter

sprints. CNNI`s Becky Anderson got to meet, interview and even train with Usain Bolt.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNNI CORRESPONDENT: He was once the fastest man in the world. Usain Bolt`s won eight Olympic gold medals before retiring in 2017.

But that hasn`t stopped the legendary Jamaican sprinter from inspiring fans around the world, and now he`s raising awareness to athletes with special

needs. What do you hope your legacy as the World`s Fastest Man will be for an athlete with special needs?

USAIN BOLT, JAMAICAN OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: To me, it`s just all about to show determination. You know what I mean? And to me, to see them go out

there and work as hard as they do, it`s also inspired me, you know what I mean, to know they have a disability but they never give up. They want to

be great athletes also. Are you going to join me in the (inaudible)?

ANDERSON: Bolt recently invited Emirate sprinter Hamda Al Kasani (ph) to run with him in a charity race at Expo 2020, Dubai. Hamda (ph) has more

than 15 Special Olympics medals to her name.

BOLT: When I met Hamda (ph), she was very nervous but to me it was a big deal to see somebody who -- who overcomes and pushes themselves to be one

of the best in the world.

ANDERSON: Hamda (ph), what does Usain Bolt mean to you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE TRANSLATED: Usain Bolt is my favorite hero because he`s the source of my inspiration. Watching him as he broke the record in

the 100, 200 meter and others pushed me to achieve more in my sports career.

BOLT: For me, it`s just to leave a legacy to prove to people that anything is possible. Don`t take (inaudible) hard work and determination.

ANDERSON: I`ll tell you what, you`ve given me a couple of ideas that what I might do to get myself into shape to be an Olympic athlete.

BOLT: All right. First, stretching is very important.


BOLT: I mean, you don`t want to pull anything. Pulling a muscle, no joke.

ANDERSON: I can`t even stand on one leg.

BOLT: Next thing you do, you do (inaudible), I mean --


BOLT: (Inaudible) skipping jog. Warm up. And then after you feel a little bit warm, then you can do some -- some light sprinting.

ANDERSON: Yes. Oh yes. A little bit of light sprinting. You know I`ve clearly been training. Right?


ANDERSON: Usain Bolt inspiring and making athletes on and off the track. All we need really to end this is a big old, (inaudible).


ANDERSON: Thank you.


AZUZ: A researcher at Scotland`s University of Glasgow says animals can be active users of technology, but do they want to be. What she did was stick

a special kind of phone into a dog toy, then she tracked how many times her 10-year-old Labrador, Zack (ph) would call her. Zack (ph) called a lot,

between five and nine times a day.

But what`s not known is if he really wanted to talk or if he just triggered the call by accident because he wanted to play with his toy. Still, if

this idea takes off researchers hope it will be used to help the pandemic puppies that are left alone if their owners have to go back to the office.

Of course, they need "pawset" instead of a handset. They`ll always be "barking" into the line. Translation apps for dogs are still pretty

"ruff", and not all of them will think a phone call is a real "treat". But hey, at least Zack (ph) was the "furfect" subject. He knew how to work the

"Labrador" receiver. Fridays are "Pawsome".

It`s time for us to scoot, but before we do, we want to recognize the students of Redmond High School. Thank you for watching from Redmond,

Oregon. We will be back on the air next Monday and Tuesday before we`re off for the Thanksgiving break. So have a great weekend. I`m Carl Azuz

for CNN.