Counting The Heavy Cost Of Care In The Age Of Opioids


Source: NPR

Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore’s health commissioner, says the federal government should help pay for a lifesaving drug that reverses opioid overdose. Meredith Rizzo/NPR

As deaths from opioid overdoses rise around the country, the city of Baltimore feels the weight of the epidemic.

“I see the impact every single day,” says Leana Wen, the city health commissioner. “We have two people in our city dying from overdose every day.”

As part of Baltimore’s strategy to tackle the problem, Wen issued a blanket prescription for the opioid overdose drug naloxone, which often comes in a nasal spray, to all city residents in 2015.

She says many deaths have been prevented by getting the drug into the hands of more people. But now, there’s a problem:

“We’re out of money for purchasing


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