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Nabia Drammeh, 27, a nurse, talks with Maram Ceesay, and her granddaughter, Awa at the Brufut Minor Health Center outside of Banjul, the capital of the Gambia. Awa's mother passed away during childbirth leaving Maram to look after her. The 2-year-old is being treated for pneumonia. Samantha Reinders for NPR hide caption

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Samantha Reinders for NPR

Fighting Pain Without Opioids: How One Nurse In The Gambia Does It

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The overprescription of opioid pain medications such as these oxycodone pills has been blamed for an addiction epidemic in the U.S. — and has spurred a flurry of activity in American courts. John Moore/Getty Images hide caption

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John Moore/Getty Images

Sometimes doctors rapidly taper their chronic pain patients' opioid doses. Now a federal agency recommends against this. Douglas Sacha/Getty Images hide caption

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Douglas Sacha/Getty Images

Don't Force Patients Off Opioids Abruptly, New Guidelines Say, Warning Of Severe Risks

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Orthopedic surgeon Kebba Marenah and his team get ready to perform knee surgery on a 14-year-old at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul, the capital of Gambia. The country struggles with a lack of access to sufficient pain medications. Samantha Reinders for NPR hide caption

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Samantha Reinders for NPR

A Place Where The Opioid Problem Is Upside Down

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Tracy Lee for NPR

How To Teach Future Doctors About Pain In The Midst Of The Opioid Crisis

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Supporters of safe injection sites in Philadelphia rallied outside this week's federal hearing. The judge's ultimate ruling will determine if the proposed "Safehouse" facility to prevent deaths from opioid overdose would violate the federal Controlled Substances Act. Kimberly Paynter/WHYY hide caption

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Kimberly Paynter/WHYY

Trump Administration Is In Court To Block Nation's 1st Supervised Injection Site

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Bags of heroin, some laced with fentanyl, picked up in a 2016 New York City drug bust. "Basically, [fentanyl] is so cheap to produce and it's so powerful, that drug dealers began realizing it was a way to increase their profits," Fentanyl, Inc. author Ben Westhoff says. But miscalculations of the amount used can be deadly. Drew Angerer/Getty Images hide caption

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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fentanyl As A Dark Web Profit Center, From Chinese Labs To U.S. Streets

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that most new heroin addicts first became hooked on prescription painkillers, such as oxycodone, before graduating to heroin, which is cheaper. John Moore/Getty Images hide caption

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John Moore/Getty Images

Tales Of Corporate Painkiller Pushing: 'The Death Rates Just Soared'

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According to the latest NPR-IBM Watson Health Poll exercise, including stretching and yoga, is popular among younger people as a way to relieve pain. Daniel Grill/Getty Images/Tetra images RF hide caption

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Daniel Grill/Getty Images/Tetra images RF

Surgeons are starting to reduce their opioid prescribing habits a little. But they still prescribe a lot of pain pills in the midst of an opioid addiction crisis. Westend61/Getty Images/Westend61 hide caption

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Westend61/Getty Images/Westend61

Richard Ost owns Philadelphia Pharmacy, in the city's Kensington neighborhood. He says he has stopped carrying Suboxone, for the most part, because the illegal market for the drug brought unwanted traffic to his store. Nina Feldman/WHYY hide caption

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Nina Feldman/WHYY

It's The Go-To Drug To Treat Opioid Addiction. Why Won't More Pharmacies Stock It?

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Robyn Adcock (left), a University of California, San Francisco pain relief specialist, gently guides Jessica Greenfield to acupressure points on her son's foot and leg that have helped relieve his chronic pain. Alison Kodjak/NPR hide caption

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Alison Kodjak/NPR

Pain Rescue Team Helps Seriously Ill Kids Cope In Terrible Times

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Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter begins closing statements during the opioid trial at the Cleveland County Courthouse in Norman, Okla., on Monday, July 15. It's the first public trial to emerge from roughly 2,000 U.S. lawsuits aimed at holding drugmakers accountable for the nation's opioid epidemic. Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman hide caption

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Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman

Pain Meds As Public Nuisance? Oklahoma Tests A Legal Strategy For Opioid Addiction

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Travis Rieder, author of In Pain: A Bioethicist's Personal Struggle With Opioids, says none of the doctors who prescribed opioids for his waves of "fiery" or "electrical" pain taught him how to safely taper his use of the drugs when he wanted to quit. Stockbyte/Getty Images hide caption

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Stockbyte/Getty Images

Motorcycle Crash Shows Bioethicist The Dark Side Of Quitting Opioids Alone

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During one of his visits to the needle exchange van in Miami, Arrow was referred to inpatient drug treatment. Here, he displays keyrings marking milestones of his sobriety. Sammy Mack/WLRN hide caption

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Sammy Mack/WLRN

Key Florida Republicans Now Say Yes To Clean Needles For Drug Users

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Judge Thad Balkman listens during opening arguments for the state of Oklahoma on Tuesday in Norman, Okla. It is the nation's first state trial against drugmakers blamed for contributing to the opioid crisis begins in Oklahoma. At right is a slide from the state's presentation shown on a monitor. Sue Ogrocki/AP hide caption

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Sue Ogrocki/AP

'This Case Will Set A Precedent': 1st Major Opioid Trial Opens In Oklahoma

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Buprenorphine, better known by the brand name Suboxone, helps people with opioid addiction stay in recovery. But it is prescribed far more often to white drug users than to blacks. Craig F. Walker/Boston Globe via Getty Images hide caption

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Craig F. Walker/Boston Globe via Getty Images

Opioid Addiction Drug Going Mostly To Whites, Even As Black Death Rate Rises

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The Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center in Plymouth houses men for court-mandated addiction treatment. Robin Lubbock/WBUR hide caption

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Robin Lubbock/WBUR

Prison For Forced Addiction Treatment? A Parent's 'Last Resort' Has Consequences

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Gail Gray suffers from degenerative disk disease and takes daily painkillers. Her pharmacist was arrested in a recent federal justice department sting. Blake Farmer/WPLN hide caption

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Blake Farmer/WPLN

Amid Opioid Prescriber Crackdown, Health Officials Reach Out To Pain Patients

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Safehouse is considering locating in this block of Hilton Street in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. The proposed facility would allow drug users to inject under medical supervision. The neighborhood is known for its drug use. Natalie Piserchio for NPR hide caption

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Natalie Piserchio for NPR

Supporters Sue To Open Safe Injection Site In Philadelphia, Citing Religious Freedom

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Insys Therapeutics founder John Kapoor (center) departs federal court in Boston in January. The criminal trial of Kapoor and four other executives from the company wrapped up on Friday. Steven Senne/AP hide caption

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Steven Senne/AP

Criminal Trial Of Opioid-Peddling Drug Company Execs Goes To The Jury

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