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(Photo by Mayron Oliveira on Unsplash)

More than 96,000 people died of drug overdoses during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic – that’s an increase of almost 30 percent in just one year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

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Sharon Grover holds up a photograph of her daughter, Rachael, over the gravesite at Fairview Cemetery, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, in Mesopotamia, Ohio. Grover believes her daughter started using prescription painkillers around 2013 but missed any signs of her addiction as her daughter, the oldest of five children, remained distanced. (AP Photo / Tony Dejak)

In a bellwether federal trial starting Monday in Cleveland, two Ohio counties will try to convince a jury that retail pharmacy companies played an outsized role in creating a public nuisance in the way they dispensed pain medication into their communities.

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(Photo by James Yarema on Unsplash)

Chicago public health officials reported 467 opioid-related deaths in January through June 2021, compared with 573 during the first six months of 2020 — an 18.5% decrease. About 90% of the incidents involved fentanyl, officials said.

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Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, right, speaks at a news conference to discuss a settlement in an opioid trial, Tuesday, July 20, 2021, in Central Islip, N.Y. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is behind her. (AP Photo / Mark Lennihan)

The yearslong effort by state and local governments in the U.S. to force the pharmaceutical industry to help pay to fix a nationwide opioid addiction and overdose crisis took a major step forward Tuesday.

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In this Sunday, May 10, 2020 file photo, Sharon Rivera adjusts flowers and other items left at the grave of her daughter, Victoria, at Calvary Cemetery in New York, on Mother’s Day. (AP Photo / Kathy Willens, File)

Overdose deaths soared to a record 93,000 last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government reported Wednesday. That estimate far eclipses the high of about 72,000 drug overdose deaths reached the previous year and amounts to a 29% increase.

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(Photo by James Yarema on Unsplash)

Opioid-related overdoses in Cook County increased by more than 40% last year. While this spike began in December 2019 — before COVID-19 was widespread — the pandemic accelerated the trend. We discuss the state of the opioid epidemic in the Chicago area.

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FILE - In this May 3, 2021, file photo, Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, left, and lawyer Rusty Webb enter the Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse in Charleston, W. Va., for the start of the opioid trial. (Kenny Kemp / Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP, File)

A corner of West Virginia wrenched by opioid addiction is getting the chance to argue in a courtroom that some of the corporate giants it blames for a public health crisis that left hundreds of people dead deserve to be held accountable.

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The U.S. government is easing requirements that made it difficult for doctors to treat opioid addiction using the medication. New guidelines announced Tuesday, April 27, 2021, mean doctors will no longer need eight hours of training to prescribe buprenorphine. (AP Photo / Elise Amendola)

New guidelines announced Tuesday mean doctors and other health workers will no longer need extra hours of training to prescribe buprenorphine, a gold standard medicine that helps with cravings.

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(Photo by Mayron Oliveira on Unsplash)

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office handled a record 16,049 deaths in 2020, with coronavirus-related deaths accounting for more than half of those cases, according to officials.

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(Anna Shvets / Pexels)

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid crisis has worsened in Cook County, with more than 1,500 opiate-related deaths this year. To try and bring these numbers down, some groups see telehealth as an accessible way to bring treatment to people. 

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Fentanyl pills (Credit: The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration)

With suburban Cook County on track to exceed 2,000 opioid overdose deaths this year, officials announce a program to address the “silent epidemic” that will connect people with treatment.

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This Tuesday, May 8, 2007, file photo shows the Purdue Pharma logo at its offices in Stamford, Conn. (AP Photo / Douglas Healey, File)

Purdue Pharma will plead guilty to three federal criminal charges as part of a settlement of more than $8 billion, Justice Department officials told The Associated Press.

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(Bruno /Germany via Pixabay)

Monday is Overdose Awareness Day, an annual event aimed at reducing drug-related deaths and the stigma of substance use disorders. And it comes this year amid a dramatic spike in opioid-related overdoses and deaths in Chicago.

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(WTTW News)

Bordering the western suburb of Oak Park, community leaders say Austin often grapples with violence and disinvestment – as of late it’s struggled with COVID-19 and an uptick opioid overdoses.

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(Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker / Flickr)

COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting Black and Brown communities, but the opioid crisis is also taking a “devastating toll” on Chicago-area residents this year, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said.

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(valelopardo / Pixabay)

The impact of the coronavirus is being felt in nearly every aspect of daily life, but it’s not the only health crisis people are facing. “Addiction can kill you as well,” said Aaron Weiner, a local addiction services director.