During President Trump's first year in office, 42,000 Americans died of drug overdoses linked to heroin, fentanyl and prescription opioids. After a minor decrease in 2018, deaths rose to a record 50,042 in 2019. That number will likely be even worse for 2020.
NPR's Brian Mann reports on the surge of synthetic fentanyl, especially in the western U.S.
And NPR's Emily Feng unveils a web of Chinese sellers exporting individual chemical components to produce fentanyl.
In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.
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This episode was produced by Lee Hale, Brianna Scott, and Brent Baughman. It was edited by Sami Yenigun with help from Wynne Davis and Andrea de Leon. Our executive producer is Cara Tallo.