The 21st Show

ENCORE: Managing Chronic Pain With Opioids; Real IDs; Saving For Retirement; Veterinarian Mental Health


An arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen. AP Photo/Patrick Sison

Kate Rosenberg-Douglas has managed her chronic back pain with prescription opioids for years. We'll talk about what it’s like to rely on opioids while they’re being condemned for causing addiction. Plus, next year you’ll need a new kind of driver’s license called a Real ID in order to fly in the US. We’ll revisit a conversation with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office on what you need to know. Also, one in five Americans have no retirement savings at all. We’ll hear from one Illinois economist about how to save smarter. And, researchers have found that many animal veterinarians struggle with ethical conflicts over what pet owners ask of them.

Managing Chronic Pain With Opioids

Kate Rosenberg-Douglas has been living with debilitating chronic pain for almost half of her life. And she doesn’t see stories like hers represented in the broader conversation about the opioid crisis.

This summer, Kate penned an op-ed for the Chicago Tribune, where she’s a reporter, about her experience treating her pain with opioids. She writes about how it’s easy to condemn opioids when it comes to addiction, but harder to dismiss them when you’re living with chronic pain. 

Kate spoke with Niala Boodhoo back in July.

Real IDs Coming to Illinois 

If you’ve ever flown, you know that you need to have your boarding pass and ID out and ready. But, starting about this time next year, your regular old driver’s license will no longer be enough. 

You’ll need something called a Real ID to board a domestic flight. It will look almost identical to your current license, except for a small gold star in the right hand corner. 

Now, all Illinois residents are able to get the new driver’s licenses and state IDs.

Back in April, Niala Boodhoo spoke with Dan Petrella, a state government reporter for the Chicago Tribune, and Illinois Secretary of State spokesman Henry Haupt. 

Saving For Retirement

How much thought have you given to your retirement? Although it’s something most of us are looking forward to, the finances of retirement can be difficult to navigate. Maybe you don’t even feel like you have the time to think about or save for it. 

According to research from Northwestern University, one in five Americans have no retirement savings at all. One in three of us has less than $5,000 saved. 

So how can you get prepared? 

Ben Harris wrote about the answer to that question for Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management where he’s a visiting professor.  Ben is also the former chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden. He spoke with Niala back in June about the misconceptions around retirement savings. 

Veterinarian Mental Health 

When it comes to our pets, many of us often think of these animals as members of our families. So when they get sick, we take them to the vet hoping to get news from trusted professionals.

But, a study published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine finds that most vets experience ethical dilemmas when it comes to what pet owners ask of them.

The study finds that almost 70 percent of vets said they felt moderate to severe distress about not being able to give animals proper care. And almost two-thirds were bothered by inappropriate requests for putting animals down.

Last Fall, Niala Bodhoo spoke with Dr. Lisa Moses. She’s the lead author of that study. She’s also a veterinarian at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell Animal Medical Center and a bioethicist at Harvard Medical School.

Kate Hamilton is a licensed clinical therapist and social worker at the University of Illinois’ College of Veterinary Medicine. She joined Niala in the studio. 

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