drug overdoses drug overdoses
Stories About

drug overdoses

Nationally, drug overdose deaths reached record levels in 2017, when a group protested in New York City on Overdose Awareness Day on August 31. Deaths appear to have declined slightly in 2018, based on provisional numbers, but nearly 68,000 people still died. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The 2016 viral photo of a couple passed out in a car while a child sits in the back seat triggered a painful moment of self-reflection in East Liverpool, Ohio. The community took steps to address its addiction problem, but progress has been spotty. Ian Brown for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Ian Brown for NPR

A highly potent synthetic opioid, fentanyl is often mixed into other drugs sold on the street, including pills, heroin and even cocaine. Towfiqu Photography/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Towfiqu Photography/Getty Images

A police officer speaks to a man walking on New Haven Green, Wednesday, Aug. 15, in New Haven, Conn. More than a 100 people fell ill from suspected drug overdoses linked to a batch of synthetic marijuana laced with fubinaca. Bill Sikes/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Bill Sikes/AP

Despite increased access to overdose rescue kits containing opioid antidotes like naloxone, Pittsburgh paramedic James Dlutowski says the government should focus efforts on funding for addiction treatment. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Across the state of Maine, the number of prescriptions for painkillers is dropping. But some patients who have chronic pain say they need high doses of the medication to be able to function. Fanatic Studio/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Fanatic Studio/Getty Images

Intent On Reversing Its Opioid Epidemic, A State Limits Prescriptions

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/543955887/545469064" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Mayor Megan Barry shakes hands with Judge Richard Dinkins at her inauguration in 2015. Her son, Max Barry (center), died last month of a drug overdose, his parents said. Mayor Barry intends to use her platform to "inspire and encourage other parents out there." Tony Gonzalez/Nashville Public Radio hide caption

toggle caption
Tony Gonzalez/Nashville Public Radio

Nashville Mayor Mourns Son's Overdose Death, Urges Families To Talk About Addiction

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/542116681/542164057" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A test strip designed to help doctors check a patient's urine for fentanyl is being distributed in the Bronx to encourage users of heroin or other opioids to check what's in their syringe before they inject. Mary Harris/WNYC hide caption

toggle caption
Mary Harris/WNYC

An Experiment Helps Heroin Users Test Their Street Drugs For Fentanyl

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/527924429/528657293" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Allyson and Eddie, clients at the AAC Needle Exchange and Overdose Prevention Program in Cambridge, Mass., say they carry naloxone and try to never use drugs alone to reduce the risk of overdosing. Robin Lubbock for WBUR hide caption

toggle caption
Robin Lubbock for WBUR

Fentanyl Adds A New Terror For People Abusing Opioids

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/521248448/522903481" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A pair of studies show declines in opioid use by young people, including prescription use, intentional misuse and accidental poisonings. Gabe Souza/Portland Press Herald/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Gabe Souza/Portland Press Herald/Getty Images

Debbie Deagle holds a photo of her son Stephen and herself. Martha Bebinger/WBUR hide caption

toggle caption
Martha Bebinger/WBUR

Organ Donations Spike In The Wake Of The Opioid Epidemic

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/497799446/497991322" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The State Crime Lab at the Ohio Attorney General's headquarters of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation displayed a variety of different types of heroin. The Washington Post/The Washington Post/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
The Washington Post/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Remembering A Few Of The People Behind Overdose Numbers In Ohio

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/497092757/497164771" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript