Bob Topmiller, chief of toxicology at the Hamilton County Coroner's Office, holds a small vial containing carfentanil extracted from a sample of blood. Jake Harper/Side Effects Public Media hide caption

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Deadly Opioid Overwhelms First Responders And Crime Labs in Ohio

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First responders have found that standard doses of naloxone aren't always enough to counteract the powerful sedating effects of carfentanil. Ted Horowitz/Getty Images hide caption

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An Even Deadlier Opioid, Carfentanil, Is Hitting The Streets

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Diazepam, also known as Valium, is used to treat anxiety and insomnia. But when combined with opioids, it can suppress breathing and cause death. Universal Images Group/Getty Images hide caption

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Tommy, a repeat patient at the Supportive Place for Observation and Treatment in Boston, says the room has saved lives. Jesse Costa/WBUR hide caption

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In Boston's 'Safe Space,' Surprising Insights Into Drug Highs

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People in their mid-40s to mid-60s are more likely than any other group to be prescribed opioids with benzodiazepines. Both kinds of drugs can hamper breathing and mixing them is especially risky. Erwin Wodicka/iStock hide caption

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In Prince's Age Group, Risk Of Opioid Overdose Climbs

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Thousands of parents have lost sons and daughters across the country to an epidemic of accidental drug overdoses. Gary Waters/Ikon Images/Getty Images hide caption

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When A Loved One Dies Of Overdose, What Happens To The Family?

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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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Drug Cocktails Fuel Massachusetts' Overdose Crisis

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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

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Gretchen Ertl/Reuters/Landov

Price Soars For Key Weapon Against Heroin Overdoses

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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

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Baltimore Fights Heroin Overdoses With Antidote Outreach

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'We're Losing 43,000 People Each Year': DEA Chief Focuses On Overdoses

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Stacy Emminger holds the death certificate for her son, Anthony, who was addicted to heroin. His death was marked as a multidrug toxicity in Pennsylvania. Ben Allen/WITF hide caption

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States Lack Accurate Statistics On Widespread Heroin Use

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A kit with naloxone, also known by its brand name Narcan, is displayed at the South Jersey AIDS Alliance in Atlantic City. Naloxone counters an overdose with heroin or certain prescription painkillers by blocking the receptors these opioids bind to in the brain. Mel Evans/AP hide caption

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Tina Wolf demonstrates the use of naloxone to community members in Lindenhurst, N.Y., during an overdose prevention training. Georgia Dolan-Reilly (left) of the Suffolk County Prevention Resource Center helped with the training. Kevin Hagen for NPR hide caption

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Teaching Friends And Family How To Reverse A Drug Overdose

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Several states distribute Naloxone hydrochloride, also called Narcan, to treat opium-based drug overdoses. But only one company manufactures the drug, and the price has spiked in recent years. Toby Talbot/AP hide caption

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'Magic' Overdose Drug Works, But Demand And Price On The Rise

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