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(Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker / Flickr)

A new law signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker legalizes syringe exchange programs in Illinois, opening the door to an increase in operations aiming to serve a community at risk of overdoses and infection from unsafe supplies.

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(valelopardo / Pixabay)

More than 70,000 people died from drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now, a task force is recommending clinicians ask adult patients about illicit drug use.

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(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hailey R. Staker)

A yearslong investigation by the Washington Post offers a state-by-state snapshot of the opioid crisis. What the data says about Illinois – and what the state is doing to fight back.

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(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

Hundreds of researchers, community organizations, policymakers, health care professionals and students gathered Monday at Malcom X College to discuss mental health, gun violence, the opioid epidemic and other topics.

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In this April 5, 2019, file photo, containers depicting OxyContin prescription pill bottles lie on the ground in front of the Department of Health and Human Services’ headquarters in Washington as protesters demonstrate against the FDA’s opioid prescription drug approval practices. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky, File)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday posted data showing nearly 68,000 drug overdose deaths were reported last year. Overdose deaths had been climbing each year since 1990, topping 70,000 in 2017.

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“I need help with direct stuff like free maintenance programs, a stable home, legal help so I can sit and get grounded, and relax. I need a place to sit down.” (Photo by Chicago Recovery Alliance participant.)

People who inject drugs typically aren’t part of traditional advocacy because of risks associated with going public. But a local research project allows them to share their experiences without the fear of potential repercussions.

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A new study shoots down the notion that medical marijuana laws can prevent opioid overdose deaths, challenging a favorite talking point of legal pot advocates.

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(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hailey R. Staker)

Prosecutors say Mohammed Shariff, who illegally dispensed hundreds of thousands of opioid pills, “showed an abject disregard of patients and perverted his companies into engines of unlawful profit.”

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(Eric Molina / Flickr)

A new bill aims to fix the state’s “ambiguous” law over syringe exchange programs. Public support for such programs remains low, but advocates say they can offer critical help to those in need.

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Last year, about 5,400 detainees at Cook County Jail received treatment for opioid use – an average of 375-400 each month. The county will be able to expand its services for opioid use disorder, thanks to a new grant. 

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Clean out your medicine cabinet and safely dispose of unused prescriptions during a biannual event that’s collected more than 9 million pounds of pills since its 2010 launch.

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(The Javorac / Flickr)

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is awarding Illinois $15 million to continue combating the opioid crisis across the state through prevention, treatment and recovery efforts.

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(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hailey R. Staker)

A Connecticut-based opioid pharmaceutical manufacturer used deceptive marketing practices to increase prescriptions for its painkillers, according to a lawsuit filed by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul.

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Robert J. Bell, U.S. DEA associate special agent in charge of the Chicago field division office, announces Thursday, Feb. 14 the launch of a yearlong digital billboard campaign against the opioid epidemic. (Kristen Thometz / Chicago Tonight)

As part of its ongoing efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, the Drug Enforcement Agency announced Thursday it’s launching a yearlong digital billboard campaign across the Chicago area.

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(Adam / Wikimedia Commons)

Qualified clinicians can receive up to $75,000 in student loan repayment through a new federal program. In exchange, they must serve three years on the front lines of the opioid crisis in underserved communities.

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In Illinois, medical marijuana can now be used as a painkiller to replace opioids. We hear from a co-sponsor of the new law.

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