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Registered nurse Jamie Simmons speaks with a patient during an appointment at the Greater New Bedford Community Health Center in Massachusetts. The patient, whose first name is Kim, says buprenorphine has helped her stay off heroin and avoid an overdose for nearly 20 years. Jesse Costa for KHN hide caption

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Jesse Costa for KHN

A roadblock to life-saving addiction treatment is gone. Now what?

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Sarah Ziegenhorn and Andy Beeler shared a selfie while hiking in Texas' Big Bend National Park in December 2018. Beeler died of an opioid overdose last March. Ziegenhorn traces his death to the many obstacles to medical care that Beeler experienced while on parole. Sarah Ziegenhorn hide caption

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Sarah Ziegenhorn

They Fell In Love Helping Drug Users. But Fear Kept Him From Helping Himself

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Melinda McDowell sought treatment for her addiction to meth. She started taking the medication naltrexone and has been sober for more than a year now. Andrea Dukakis/CPR News hide caption

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Andrea Dukakis/CPR News

Many jails and prisons won't give prisoners buprenorphine, a drug which controls heroin and opioid cravings, known also by the brand name Suboxone. Elise Amendola/AP hide caption

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Elise Amendola/AP

In Massachusetts last July, several Franklin County Jail inmates were watched by a nurse and a corrections officer after receiving their daily doses of buprenorphine, a drug that helps control opioid cravings. By some estimates, at least half to two-thirds of today's U.S. jail population has a substance use or dependence problem. Elise Amendola/AP hide caption

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Elise Amendola/AP

County Jails Struggle With A New Role As America's Prime Centers For Opioid Detox

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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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Located in Northern Wisconsin along the shores of Lake Superior, Ashland, Wis. has had enough of substance abuse issue. NorthLakes Community Clinic brought in Dr. Mark Lim to start a team providing substance abuse and mental health services. Derek Montgomery for NPR hide caption

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Derek Montgomery for NPR

For One Rural Community, Fighting Addiction Started With Recruiting The Right Doctor

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In several European countries and Canada, patients with longterm opioid addiction are prescribed pharmaceutical grade heroin which they inject in clinics like the Patrida Medical Clinic in Berlin. Some addiction specialists want to pilot similar programs in the U.S. picture alliance/picture alliance via Getty Image hide caption

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picture alliance/picture alliance via Getty Image

Yvette and Scott, both recovering heroin users, now take methadone daily from a clinic in the Southend of Boston. Jesse Costa/WBUR hide caption

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Jesse Costa/WBUR

After An Overdose, Patients Aren't Getting Treatments That Could Prevent The Next One

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Hospital emergency departments are tasked with saving the lives of people who overdose on opioids. Clinicians and researchers hope that more can be done during the hospital encounter to connect people with treatment. FangXiaNuo/Getty Images hide caption

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FangXiaNuo/Getty Images