The roadside billboards in some American towns do not advertise fast-food chains or home insurance. Instead, they tell people what to do in case of a drug overdose. Deaths in America from opioids, pain-relieving drugs that include both prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and illegal ones such as heroin, have almost quadrupled over the past two decades. In some states the share of babies who are born with withdrawal symptoms has increased by 300% since 1999; at least 8,000 were born suffering from them in 2013. Each day 91 Americans die from an opioid overdose.
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