How a different kind of drug testing can help communities stave off overdoses

Insights from advanced drug-testing services are proving essential for public health officials struggling to contain an evolving crisis.

Evolving overdose crisis shakes previously effective treatments

Synthetic drugs are killing more Americans as they render treatment options less effective.

Using opioid settlement cash for police gear like squad cars and scanners sparks debate

As state and local governments figure out how to spend more than $50 billion from opioid settlement cash, officials must balance how to allocate funds for competing interests such as drug addiction treatment and enhanced police tech.

More schools stock overdose reversal meds, but others worry about stigma

Eight states currently require all or some schools to offer naloxone in a bid to curb opioid overdoses. But some experts question the effectiveness of such policies.

Why fentanyl trafficking enforcement may fall short

Several states this year passed laws targeting drug traffickers through increased penalties. But one expert says efforts to curb the fentanyl supply could open the doors for newer, more dangerous substances to arise.

Drug decriminalization stumbled in Oregon. Other states are taking note.

The rocky start could slow the movement to treat addiction as a public health matter.

Death rates for people under 40 have skyrocketed. Blame fentanyl.

Accidental overdoses are now the No. 1 cause of death for young people in 37 states.

Will Texas’ new fentanyl awareness curriculum for public schools succeed where other anti-drug messaging failed?

Historically, anti-drug messaging in schools has failed to acknowledge the mental health reasons that youth self-medicate. Without that key lesson, advocates worry House Bill 3908 will be another D.A.R.E. campaign.

States stiffen penalties for fentanyl, despite public health concerns

Critics argue that harsh penalties could deter those in need of help and worsen societal disparities.

Meet the people deciding how to spend $50 billion in opioid settlement cash

As settlement dollars land at the state level, state councils wield significant power in determining how the windfall gets spent.

How one city worked to prevent overdoses after large-scale drug trafficking bust 

Manchester, New Hampshire, learned that there are consequences to seizures and arrests: a risk of overdose may rise for dependent users.

Opioid Settlement Payouts to Localities Made Public for First Time

Documents have been obtained showing the exact dollar amounts—down to the cent—that local governments have been allocated in 2022 and 2023 to battle the ongoing opioid crisis.

Most People Who Inject Drugs Test Positive for Fentanyl

COMMENTARY | In a yearlong study, researchers found that a significant share of people in New York City who thought they were using heroin or another drug were actually using the illicit synthetic opioid.

One County’s Choice to Use Opioid Funds to Pay Off Debt

Greene County, Tennessee, so far has received more than $2.7 million from regional and national settlements with opioid manufacturers and distributors. But most of the money is not going to help people and families harmed by addiction.

White House Vowed to Play Key Role in Opioid Settlements But Has Gone Quiet

Billions of dollars are headed to state and local governments to address the opioid crisis. But if the federal government fails to oversee the use of the money, it could lead to wasted opportunities. And the feds could have a claim to portions of states’ opioid settlements.

$50 Billion in Opioid Settlement Cash Is on the Way. We’re Tracking How It’s Spent.

Spending the money effectively and equitably is a tall order for state and local governments, and a lack of transparency in the process is already leading to fears of misuse.

As Opioid Deaths Keep Rising, Report Urges Lawmakers to Develop New Approaches

Drug overdose rates in the U.S. have risen fivefold in the past two decades. A new report argues state lawmakers should view America’s staggering opioid crisis through an "ecosystems" approach.

Schools, Sheriffs, and Syringes: State Plans Vary for Spending $26B in Opioid Settlement Funds

The cash represents an unprecedented opportunity to derail the opioid epidemic, but with countless groups advocating for their share of the pie, the impact could depend heavily on geography and politics.