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Are chronic pain patients losing access to opioids? One advocacy group says yes, and now it’s pushing for “more reasonable” guidelines from the CDC on opioid prescriptions.

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Opioid overdoses in Illinois claim more lives than homicides and car accidents. State health officials tell us what’s behind the crisis.  

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Jet and Stone (Lloyd DeGrane Photography)

Lloyd DeGrane spent three years photographing homeless encampments in Chicago. He shares images and stories from the streets.

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(The Javorac / Flickr)

Cook County officials filed lawsuits this week against a half dozen drug companies and their subsidiaries, blaming them for aggressively marketing prescription painkillers that have led to a spike in overdose deaths.

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(The Javorac / Flickr)

DuPage, Kane, McHenry, Will and Lake counties filed almost identical lawsuits in their respective counties against numerous pharmaceutical companies, claiming the opioid crisis began almost 20 years ago.

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After a storied career of bringing down drug kingpins such as Mexico’s Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, Chicago’s top federal drug enforcement official Dennis Wichern is calling it quits.

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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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(David Kessler / Flickr)

Responding to local officials’ call for restrictions on opioid prescriptions, the American Dental Association outlines the steps it’s taking to address the opioid epidemic. 

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(The Javorac / Flickr)

Local officials call for restrictions on opioid prescriptions as Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposes a $500,000 investment to fight the opioid epidemic.

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(Eric Molina / Flickr)

As opioid overdose deaths continue to rise, President Donald Trump on Thursday is expected to declare the ongoing epidemic as a “national emergency.”

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(VCU CNS / Flickr)

There were nearly 1,900 fatal opioid overdoses in Illinois last year, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. We speak with Nirav Shah, the agency’s director, about the state’s fight against the crisis.

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Following years of steady decreases, a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a significant rise in teen overdose deaths in 2015. “It’s disappointing,” said Renee Manworren, a local researcher.

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For years, critical care doctors have noticed an increase in patients suffering from opioid overdoses. A new study confirms their observations and details the staggering cost of treatment.

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