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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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Inmates at risk of substance abuse are given an overdose-reversing drug as they leave detention.

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(David Kessler / Flickr)

Attorney General Lisa Madigan will join a bipartisan effort to investigate the role opioid manufacturers may play in contributing to the country’s opioid epidemic. 

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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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(The Javorac / Flickr)

Do you have old prescription medicines in your cabinet? Safely dispose of them at drop-off sites set up by the DEA for Saturday’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

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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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(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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Children under the age of 18 should not be given codeine, says the American Academy of Pediatrics in a new report that cites life-threatening events and even deaths linked to the drug.

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A study from Roosevelt University titled, “Hidden in Plain Sight,” analyzes the state’s heroin crisis. One of the report’s co-authors pinpoints Chicago’s West Side as the “epicenter” of the state’s crisis.

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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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Opioid and heroin overdose deaths hit record levels in 2014, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The alarming rise in heroin deaths has tripled since 2010. "Chicago Tonight" talks about the heroin crisis with the executive director of a treatment facility and the founder of an anti-heroin education and advocacy foundation.

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A story by WBEZ and This American Life in April revealed that heroin abusers from Puerto Rico were being sent to unlicensed drug rehab programs in Chicago, many of which appear to be little better than flophouses and use methods that are questionable at best. The facilities often force clients to give them their identity papers for safe keeping, and don't always give them back when the clients leave. A follow-up report from WBEZ has found that some of the Puerto Rican addicts sent to Chicago appear to be victims of identity theft.

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U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk expands efforts to fight heroin overdoses in Cook and surrounding counties.