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An Afghan man works on a poppy field in Jalalabad province, May 1, 2014.

Afghanistan is producing a lot more opium than before the US invasion. The US just can’t stop it

US-led counterdrug efforts in Afghanistan have failed to reduce narcotics cultivation and production, but the US hasn't been the recipient of that increased production.

The 5 most addictive substances on the planet, ranked

To compare addictive drugs, scientists averaged 3 factors: physical harm, dependency or addiction, and social harm. Here are the top in the dependency category.

A deadly drug epidemic sweeping the US has caused ER visits for overdoses to jump 30%

Every year, thousands of patients receive a prescription for drugs ranging from morphine to fentanyl — and every year thousands of people die from an overdose.

A mysterious supplement with a viral following has been officially declared an opioid by the FDA

"As the scientific data [has] clearly revealed, compounds in kratom make it so it isn’t just a plant — it’s an opioid," FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said.
A soldier shows the lancing of a poppy bulb to extract the sap, which is used to make opium, during a military operation to destroy a poppy field in the municipality of Coyuca de Catalan in Guerrero, Mexico, April 18, 2017.

Mexican heroin is flooding the US, and the Sinaloa cartel is steering the flow

Mexico's Sinaloa cartel, despite internal turmoil and outside competition, has expanded its involvement in the heroin trade, feeding the US's opioid epidemic.

Opium production has set another record in Afghanistan — here’s where it increased the most

Despite increased eradication efforts, opium cultivation and production both hit record levels in the country this year.

The stench from an overcrowded morgue in one of Mexico’s most violent areas forced a government shutdown

A protest by about 60 workers over unsanitary conditions at the morgue shut the facility down for about three hours.
Only five counties with exceptionally high rates of opioid deaths voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

These maps show that counties where opioid deaths and prescription rates are highest are also places where Trump won big in 2016

Counties in Appalachia and parts of the West have been hit particularly hard by the opioid crisis. They also overwhelmingly backed Trump in the 2016 election.
A drug user takes a needle before injecting himself with heroin on March 23, 2016 in New London, CT. Communities throughout New England and nationwide are struggling with the unprecedented heroin and opioid pain pill epidemic. On March 15, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), announced guidelines for doctors to reduce the amount of opioid painkillers prescribed nationwide, in an effort to curb the epidemic. The CDC estimates that most new heroin addicts first became hooked on prescription pain medication before graduating to heroin, which is stronger and cheaper.

One of Trump’s first major solutions to the opioid crisis could actually make the problem worse

Thousands of US drug courts have sprung up with the goal of diverting defendants with addiction issues to treatment, rather than prison. But there are problems.