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

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

toggle caption Kristian Foden-Vencil/Oregon Public Broadcasting

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

toggle caption Michelle Faust/Side Effects Public Media

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

toggle caption Steve Featherstone

In Cheyenne, Wyo., emergency room patients who show up more than a few times a month requesting pain pills will now be told no, except in dire emergencies. A similar program at a New Mexico hospital cut ER visits by 5 percent annually, and saved $500,000. iStockphoto hide caption

toggle caption iStockphoto

Nurse Brittany Combs of Scottsburg, Ind., delivers clean needles to a member of the needle exchange program. Users must have a membership ID card to exchange needles. Seth Herald for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Seth Herald for NPR

Nina Rossi, left, befriended Lance Rice, a recovering addict, after he robbed her house in 2013. Since last year, when this photo was taken, Rice had a relapse and a rift developed between the two. Karen Brown/WFCR hide caption

toggle caption Karen Brown/WFCR

Austin, Indiana's needle exchange program is open for business this week, but health workers worry the program will be tough to quickly replicate in other counties. Darron Cummings/AP hide caption

toggle caption Darron Cummings/AP

Volunteer Patrick Pezzati searches yards in Turners Falls, Mass., for discarded heroin needles. Karen Brown/WFCR hide caption

toggle caption Karen Brown/WFCR

Volunteers search for needles and other drug paraphernalia along Church Street in Austin, Ind., in April. The region has recorded 142 new HIV cases since December, according to the state, in an outbreak tied to injected-opioid use. Seth Herald/Nurphoto/Corbis hide caption

toggle caption Seth Herald/Nurphoto/Corbis

Needle exchange programs, like this one in Portland, Maine, offer free, sterile syringes and needles to drug users. The programs save money and lives, health officials say, by curtailing the spread of bloodborne infections, such as hepatitis and HIV. Robert F. Bukaty/AP hide caption

toggle caption Robert F. Bukaty/AP

Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell (left) and Dr. Nancy Hardt, University of Florida. Bryan Thomas for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Bryan Thomas for NPR

A marijuana bud displayed in Denver. Don't legalize pot, the pediatricians say, but don't lock teenagers up for using it, either. Seth McConnell/The Denver Post/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Seth McConnell/The Denver Post/Getty Images

Deaths from oxycodone overdoses fell sharply in Florida after the state cracked down on pain clinics and implemented dispensing restrictions. Robin Nelson/Zumapress/Corbis hide caption

toggle caption Robin Nelson/Zumapress/Corbis

What's in your neighbor's medicine cabinets may influence overdose risk in the community. iStockphoto.com hide caption

toggle caption iStockphoto.com