A new film from NOVA, “Addiction,” chronicles the rise in prescription painkillers and the explosion in opioid addiction that followed — leading to a record 72,000 overdose deaths in the year 2017 alone. The documentary explains the brain science behind addiction, why it’s so hard for someone to break an opiate addiction — particularly if they are trying through willpower alone — and how our country’s medical system often doesn’t do such patients any favors.

Jim Braude was joined by Sarah Holt, a producer with NOVA, and Dr. Laura Kehoe, one of the doctors featured in this documentary who is also the medical director of the Substance Use Disorder Bridge Clinic at Mass General Hospital.