heroin heroin

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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Marianne Williams Photography/Flickr RM/Getty Images

Drug Cocktails Fuel Massachusetts' Overdose Crisis

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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

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Angus Chen/NPR

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

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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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Jesse Costa/WBUR

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

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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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Andrea Hsu/NPR

Baltimore Fights Heroin Overdoses With Antidote Outreach

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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

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Tamika Moore/AL.com/Landov

Illicit Version Of Painkiller Fentanyl Makes Heroin Deadlier

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

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Maddie McGarvey for NPR

Ravages Of Heroin Addiction Haunt Friends, Families And Whole Towns

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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

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Ben Allen/WITF

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

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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

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Courtesy of Christina Smolke/Stanford University

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

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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

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Meredith Rizzo/NPR

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

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A user prepares drugs for injection in 2014 in St. Johnsbury, Vt. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Heroin Use Surges, Especially Among Women And Whites

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A Bulgarian border policeman stands near a barbed wire wall on the border with Turkey in July 2014. Experts believe that about two-thirds of the heroin that enters Europe comes through Bulgaria, and that a third of that moves on to the United States. Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images

Bulgaria Steps Up Efforts Against Drug Trafficking Across Its Borders

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Sabas Sanchez Jr. was better known among his neighbors in Madison, Neb., as "Gordo" — Spanish for chubby. He also had an oversized personality. His father keeps this tattered photo in his wallet. Bobby Caina Calvan/Heartland Reporting Project hide caption

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Bobby Caina Calvan/Heartland Reporting Project

In America's Heartland, Heroin Crisis Is Hitting Too Close To Home

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