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(The Javorac / Flickr)

From 2011 to 2013, a LaSalle County physician prescribed hundreds of thousands of milligrams of controlled substances to a trio of opioid-dependent patients in exchange for sex, according to a plea agreement.

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While the overall population in Cook County Jail is on the decline, one group of detainees is growing: opioid addicts.

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Illinois has a goal of cutting opioid-related deaths by one-third by the year 2020. And at the Chicago International Mailing Facility, the focus is on enhanced cargo screening.

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Prescription pain pills are dumped out on a table. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration / Tech. Sgt. Mark R. W. Orders-Woempner)

The opioid epidemic in Illinois is more acute than in many other states, according to the National Safety Council. We discuss the crisis and a new memorial that highlights the human toll of opioid addiction.

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(Eric Molina / Flickr)

Heroin use has more than doubled in young adults over the past decade. A new study evaluates the cost of that addiction on society at large.

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Cook County Judge Charles Burns (Chicago Tonight)

Often when criminal court defendants are placed on probation, they’re sent back to jail if caught using drugs. But in one Cook County courtroom, they’re given a second chance – and sometimes a third or fourth. 

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(Courtesy of Dr. Elizabeth Salisbury-Afshar)

The Chicago Department of Public Health recently hired a behavioral health medical director to better address substance use disorders and mental health issues in the city. Meet Dr. Elizabeth Salisbury-Afshar and learn more about her role.

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Neil Steinberg (Chicago Tonight)

The Chicago Sun-Times columnist muses on weathering the holidays without alcohol and his anthology on addiction, “Out of the Wreck I Rise: A Literary Companion to Recovery.”

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(Adam / Wikimedia Commons)

Planning is underway to open a recovery-based high school designed specifically for students dealing with substance abuse disorders in downtown Chicago next year.

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(The Javorac / Flickr)

Abuse of opioid-based prescription pain killers, heroin and synthetic substitutes are killing more Americans than ever before. 

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Why is Puerto Rico sending addicts from the island to Chicago? WBEZ reporter Odette Yousef explains the story.

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Rising rates of addiction to heroin and prescription drugs have been making headlines across the country. Find out what the latest science is telling us about the nature of addiction.

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Some advocates and law enforcement officials say heroin use is rising in Illinois and that Chicago has one of the largest open drug markets in the country.