opioids opioids

A pharmacist counts pain pills. In an effort to curb the abuse of Oxycontin, Vicodin and other opioid painkillers, some health plans in Massachusetts now limit a patient's initial prescription to a 15-day supply, and plan to halve that number in February. Gabe Souza/Getty Images hide caption

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Insurers Hire Social Workers To Tackle The Opioid Epidemic

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The effects of opioid abuse can go unnoticed at work. George Doyle/Getty Images hide caption

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Opioid Abuse Takes A Toll On Workers And Their Employers

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Medicaid May Soon Pay For Some Inpatient Addiction Treatment

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Art work by Anne Marie Zanfagna at the First Baptist Church of Plaistow on Dec. 20, in Plaistow, N.H. Tamara Keith/NPR hide caption

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Portraits Of Those Killed By Heroin Bring Healing And Awareness

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A "speedball" mix of heroin and cocaine has caused overdose deaths for decades. Today, high-risk blends may alternatively include heroin or opioid pain pills plus Klonopin, Clonidine, or Fentanyl. Marianne Williams Photography/Flickr RM/Getty Images hide caption

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Marianne Williams Photography/Flickr RM/Getty Images

Drug Cocktails Fuel Massachusetts' Overdose Crisis

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Overdoses of hydrocodone and other opioid painkillers caused more than 16,000 deaths in 2013, according to the CDC. Photo Researchers, Inc./Science Source hide caption

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Photo Researchers, Inc./Science Source

Addiction counselor John Fisher says prescriptions for medicines to help people wean themselves from opioid drugs are part of the appeal of the clinic he operates in Blountville, Tenn. Blake Farmer/NPR hide caption

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When Drug Treatment For Narcotic Addiction Never Ends

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Gretchen Burns-Bergman (center) speaks Wednesday at a rally in front of the White House about ending mass incarceration of drug users. Angus Chen/NPR hide caption

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Listen: on the scene with Moms United by the White House

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A young boy talks with Tina Cloer, director of the Children's Bureau, in Indianapolis. The nonprofit shelter takes in children from the state's Department of Child Services when a suitable foster family can't be found. Cloer says the average length of stay at the shelter has increased from two days to 10 in 2015. Jake Harper/Side Effects Public Media hide caption

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Jake Harper/Side Effects Public Media

Heroin, Opioid Abuse Put Extra Strain On U.S. Foster Care System

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In Boston, Edmund Hassan, a deputy superintendent of emergency medical services, and his colleagues regularly revive people who have overdosed on opioids. Jesse Costa/WBUR hide caption

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Jesse Costa/WBUR

Reversing Opioid Overdoses Saves Lives But Isn't A Cure-All

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Doris Keene (right) talks with her acupuncturist before a treatment at Portland's Quest Center for Integrative Health. Keene says the treatments have eased her chronic back pain at least as effectively as the Vicodin and muscle relaxants she once relied on. Kristian Foden-Vencil/Oregon Public Broadcasting hide caption

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Kristian Foden-Vencil/Oregon Public Broadcasting

To Curb Pain Without Opioids, Oregon Looks To Alternative Treatments

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Katie Serio, director of treatment and prevention at the Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse of Livingston County, N.Y., trains a group of school nurses to use the overdose antidote naloxone at Dansville High School. Michelle Faust/Side Effects Public Media hide caption

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Michelle Faust/Side Effects Public Media

School Nurses Stock Drug To Reverse Opioid Overdoses

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Heroin sold in the U.S., like this dose confiscated in Alabama last fall, is often cut with other drugs. Tamika Moore/AL.com/Landov hide caption

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Tamika Moore/AL.com/Landov

Illicit Version Of Painkiller Fentanyl Makes Heroin Deadlier

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