Making the Opioid Epidemic Visible

Making the Opioid Epidemic Visible
Craig Hudson/Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP

Reading about the opioid epidemic feels like navigating an outbreak of numbers. Fifty-nine thousand to 65,000: people who died from overdose last year. Sixteen percent: the increase in American opioid deaths from 2014 to 2015. Seven hundred and eighty million: the quantity of hydrocodone and oxycodone pills shipped to West Virginia from drug wholesalers. Fifty-eight: people who died of overdoses from January to June this year in Cabell County, West Virginia, alone. These are the facts we know, and they are each about as useful as a flashlight in a fog. They illuminate a single area, but the problem is the fog.

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