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opioid epidemic

Families that lost loved ones to the opioid crisis protested outside Suffolk Superior Court in Boston as lawyers for Purdue Pharma entered the courthouse for a status update in the Massachusetts attorney general's suit against the company on Jan. 25. Suzanne Kreiter/Boston Globe via Getty Images hide caption

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Suzanne Kreiter/Boston Globe via Getty Images

Syringes of fentanyl, an opioid painkiller, sit in an inpatient facility in Salt Lake City. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioid-related overdoses have contributed to the life expectancy drop in the U.S. Rick Bowmer/AP hide caption

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Rick Bowmer/AP

A Philadelphia police officer holds a package of the overdose antidote naloxone while on patrol in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia in April 2017. Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

Opioid Antidote Can Save Lives, But Deciding When To Use It Can Be Challenging

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Nine-year-old Gabriella Santamaria holds up a picture of her uncle Stephen who died from a heroin overdose during a 2017 candlelight vigil for victims of drug addiction in Staten Island. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Thirty-year-old Madelyn Linsenmeir, pictured on one of her routine walks with son Ayden. "Her addiction didn't define her, but it did define the way she lived," Linsenmeir's sister, Kate O'Neill, wrote in an obituary that moved readers nationwide this week. Courtesy of Maura O'Neill hide caption

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Courtesy of Maura O'Neill

The Viral Obituary Of An Opioid Addict: 'She's Just One Face' Of The Epidemic

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A man holds a sample of the opioid antidote Narcan during a training session at a New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene office in March. Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images

Melania Trump talks with a patient at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital in Nashville, Tenn., on Tuesday. The first lady was promoting her Be Best campaign to help children. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Shannon Hubbard has complex regional pain syndrome and considers herself lucky that her doctor hasn't cut back her pain prescription dosage. Will Stone/KJZZ hide caption

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Will Stone/KJZZ

Patients With Chronic Pain Feel Caught In An Opioid Prescribing Debate

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More than 2,100 drug felons were denied SNAP benefits in West Virginia in 2016. The number has more than tripled during the past decade. Patrick Strattner/Getty Images hide caption

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Patrick Strattner/Getty Images

First lady Melania Trump speaks about her "Be Best" initiative in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 7. Andrew Harnik/AP hide caption

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Andrew Harnik/AP

One Month Later, What's Become Of Melania Trump's 'Be Best' Campaign?

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U.S. Postal Service mail vehicles sit in a parking lot at a mail distribution center on February 18, 2015 in San Francisco, Calif. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Deadly Delivery: Opioids By Mail

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WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 15: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill November 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. Adams testified about community-level health promotion programs and businesses that offer incentives to employees that practice healthy lifestyles. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Surgeon General Urges More Americans To Carry Opioid Antidote

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Researchers looked at states with medical marijuana dispensaries and those that allow home cultivation. Evelyn Hockstein/The Washington Post/Getty Images hide caption

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Evelyn Hockstein/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Opioid Use Lower In States That Eased Marijuana Laws

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Mady Ohlman, who lives near Boston and has been sober for more than four years, says many drug users hit a point when the disease and the pursuit of illegal drugs crushes the will to live. Jesse Costa/WBUR hide caption

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Jesse Costa/WBUR

How Many Opioid Overdoses Are Suicides?

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Emergency rooms are seeing a jump in opioid overdoses. Timely treatment with naloxone can reverse the effects of opioids. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Jump In Overdoses Shows Opioid Epidemic Has Worsened

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Huntington, W.V. Fire Chief Jan Rader is a central figure in the Netflix documentary short Heroin(e). Rebecca Kiger/Netflix hide caption

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Rebecca Kiger/Netflix

'Heroin(e)': The Women Fighting Addiction In Appalachia

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Colorado State Rep. Brittany Pettersen (right) is advocating for more treatment money for opioid addiction, in part because of the substance abuse struggles of her mother, Stacy (left). Nathaniel Minor/CPR News hide caption

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Nathaniel Minor/CPR News

States Seek More Federal Funding For Opioid Treatment, Not More Promises

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Ashley Copeland (right) talks to her mom Sue Iverson in the Swedish Medical Center emergency department, near Denver. Copeland got a nerve-blocking anesthetic instead of opioids to ease her severe headache. At discharge she was advised to use over-the-counter painkillers, if necessary. John Daley / CPR News hide caption

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John Daley / CPR News

These 10 ERs Sharply Reduced Opioid Use And Still Eased Pain

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