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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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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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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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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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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School Nurses Stock Drug To Reverse Opioid Overdoses

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

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

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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

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Emergency Rooms Crack Down On Abusers Of Pain Pills

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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

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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

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Addiction Takes A Toll On An Unlikely Friendship

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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

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Indiana Struggles To Control HIV Outbreak Linked To Injected Drug Use

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

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A Rural Police Chief Asks Citizens To Help Pick Up Used Syringes

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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

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CDC Warns More HIV, Hepatitis C Outbreaks Likely Among Drug Users

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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

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Indiana's HIV Spike Prompts New Calls For Needle Exchanges Statewide

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

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A Sheriff And A Doctor Team Up To Map Childhood Trauma

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Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Can Family Secrets Make You Sick?

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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

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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

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