These pills were made to look like Oxycodone, but they're actually an illicit form of the potent painkiller fentanyl. A surge in police seizures of illicit fentanyl parallels a rise in overdose deaths. Tommy Farmer/Tennessee Bureau of Investigation/AP hide caption

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Tommy Farmer/Tennessee Bureau of Investigation/AP

Drug counselor Gemma Bennet (left) explains to Rio Brown the results of forensic tests on a fragment of an Ecstasy pill he brought in for evaluation at The Loop. Lauren Frayer for NPR hide caption

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Lauren Frayer for NPR

Making Sure Ecstasy Is Ecstasy: Volunteers Test Drugs At U.K. Music Fests

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Lorenzo Gritti for NPR

We Found Joy: An Addict Struggles To Get Treatment

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Nikko Adam, 22, gets a hug from his mother, Patti Trabosh, after his family picked him up from his sober living facility for a weekend outing. Melissa Block/NPR hide caption

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A Family Engulfed By Heroin Fights To Keep A Son Alive

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Paramedic Phil Salamone carries naloxone, a drug used to reverse an opioid overdose. Melissa Block/NPR hide caption

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Melissa Block/NPR

A Small Town Wonders What To Do When Heroin Is 'Everywhere'

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An Addict, Now Clean, Discusses Needle Exchanges And 'Hope After Heroin'

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Police released a photo of bra inserts that were found to contain about 50 gallons of liquid methamphetamine. Australian authorities say they've arrested four people over the illegal drug shipments. Australian Federal Police hide caption

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Australian Federal Police

Yolanda Roberson, who directs the Empowerment program, teaches a class at a Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx. The classes are funded by the state of New York. Robert Stolarik/Courtesy of Youth Today hide caption

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Robert Stolarik/Courtesy of Youth Today

The drug sold as K2, spike, spice or "synthetic marijuana" may look like dried marijuana leaves. But it's really any of a combination of chemicals created in a lab that are then sprayed on dried plant material. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Surge In Use Of 'Synthetic Marijuana' Still One Step Ahead Of The Law

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Hard to resist. But if they're marijuana edibles, not such a treat. James A. Guilliam/Getty Images hide caption

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James A. Guilliam/Getty Images

When Pets Do Pot: A High That's Not So Mighty

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This genetically modified yeast can convert sugar into powerful opioid drugs. Scientists working with the modified yeast strains are required to register them with the Drug Enforcement Administration and keep the yeast under lock and key. Courtesy of Christina Smolke/Stanford University hide caption

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Courtesy of Christina Smolke/Stanford University

Engineers Make Narcotics With Yeast. Is Home-Brewed Heroin Next?

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Workers for the Safe Streets violence interruption project including Gardnel Carter, center, talk with Baltimore residents in 2010. Kenneth K. Lam/MCT via Getty Images hide caption

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Crime Interrupts A Baltimore Doctor's Reform Efforts

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A package of synthetic marijuana, or spike. Steve Featherstone hide caption

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Steve Featherstone

Syracuse, N.Y., Experiences Spike In Synthetic Marijuana Hospitalizations

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A user prepares drugs for injection in 2014 in St. Johnsbury, Vt. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Heroin Use Surges, Especially Among Women And Whites

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Donetta Held unloads needles and pipes confiscated from a contaminated meth home. She owns an environmental decontamination company and says meth tests are their most demanded service. Barbara Brosher/WFIU hide caption

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Barbara Brosher/WFIU

Buy A Meth House Unawares And Pay The Health Consequences

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Families harvest poppy bulbs in the Badakhshan province of Afghanistan. To collect the opium, they score the bulbs and let the milky substance ooze out. The dried residue contains about 10 percent morphine. David Guttenfelder/AP/National Geographic hide caption

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David Guttenfelder/AP/National Geographic