Fueling the increase in opioid addiction and overdoses in the U.S. is a little known synthetic opioid called fentanyl. Fentanyl and its derivatives are at least 50 times more potent than heroin and have become the substance of choice for drug dealers to mix with heroin to increase their profits. Jeff Swicord takes a look at what the introduction of fentanyl has done to the community of Louisville, Kentucky.
In 2015, 92 million Americans used prescription opioids to alleviate or manage pain, with 11.5 million reporting they misused them. Now more than ever, people are seeking alternative treatments to avoid using pain pills. In our special series, “America’s Opioid Crisis,” VOA’s Elizabeth Cherneff introduces us to a doctor helping people manage pain and combat their addictions.