The Opioid Epidemic
By Hal Marcovitz
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When synthetic opioids were developed a quarter-century ago, many physicians believed the drugs would help alleviate the pain caused by severe injuries and debilitating diseases. But while the drugs do deaden pain, they can lead to devastating addiction as well as death through overdose. Meanwhile, the natural opioid heroin continues to be a much-abused illegal drug that threatens the lives of its users.