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

toggle caption Melissa Block/NPR

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

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/469954366/470194287" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
ImageZoo/Corbis

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

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/469585044/469685744" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Dr. Jessie Gaeta, chief medical officer of Health Care for the Homeless at Boston Medical Center, stands in a conference room that will soon be converted to a place where patients high on heroin or other drugs can be safely monitored. Jesse Costa/WBUR hide caption

toggle caption Jesse Costa/WBUR

Boston's Heroin Users Will Soon Get A Safer Place To Be High

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/468572534/468674027" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Gary Waters/Ikon Images/Corbis

Shortage Of Addiction Counselors Further Strained By Opioid Epidemic

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/467143265/467914439" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A long vacant and blighted property was torn down in northwest Rutland this past year. The Rotary Club and other volunteers plan to erect a playground on the property as part of an effort to reclaim a neighborhood hard hit by drugs and crime. Nina Keck/VPR hide caption

toggle caption Nina Keck/VPR

Tragedy Moves A Community To Combat Drug Addiction

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/463952989/464961061" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption Gabe Souza/Getty Images

Insurers Hire Social Workers To Tackle The Opioid Epidemic

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/463870922/464338404" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
LA Johnson/NPR

Anatomy Of Addiction: How Heroin And Opioids Hijack The Brain

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/462390288/462627116" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption Marianne Williams Photography/Flickr RM/Getty Images

Drug Cocktails Fuel Massachusetts' Overdose Crisis

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/458280574/458959450" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption Angus Chen/NPR

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

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/456679758/456716682" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

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

toggle caption Jesse Costa/WBUR

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

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/445399564/446632606" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A nasal spray version of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone demonstrated at police headquarters in Quincy, Mass., in 2014. Gretchen Ertl/Reuters/Landov hide caption

toggle caption Gretchen Ertl/Reuters/Landov

Price Soars For Key Weapon Against Heroin Overdoses

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/439219409/439247041" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Health worker Nathan Fields (left), Rep. Donna Edwards and Dr. Leana Wen show people how to use naloxone on a street corner in Sandtown, a Baltimore neighborhood where drug activity is common. Andrea Hsu/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Andrea Hsu/NPR

Baltimore Fights Heroin Overdoses With Antidote Outreach

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/437599795/438943300" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption Tamika Moore/AL.com/Landov

Illicit Version Of Painkiller Fentanyl Makes Heroin Deadlier

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/434618809/434975526" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A water tower in Marion, Ohio. The city has been gripped by heroin addition. Maddie McGarvey for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Maddie McGarvey for NPR

Ravages Of Heroin Addiction Haunt Friends, Families And Whole Towns

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/433575293/433981107" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Cris and Valerie Fiore hold one of their favorite pictures of their sons Anthony (with the dark hair) and Nick. Anthony died from a heroin overdose in May 2014 at the age of 24. Cris Fiore's eulogy described his son's death as a shock, but "not a surprise." Anthony had been addicted to heroin for years. Ben Allen/WITF hide caption

toggle caption Ben Allen/WITF

When Rehab Might Help An Addict — But Insurance Won't Cover It

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/430437514/432453548" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption Courtesy of Christina Smolke/Stanford University

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

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/432192398/432192401" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Leana Wen hands out awards to business owners for their efforts to support breastfeeding at the Baltimore City Health Department on Tuesday. Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Can A 32-Year-Old Doctor Cure Baltimore's Ills?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/429646637/430077479" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript