The growing toll of opiate
Our children were dying. ¶ That’s what our report “Wasted Youth” exposed in March 2007, when we revealed the toll OxyContin and heroin addiction had taken on this region.
¶ Dozens had died, many under the age of 25, and thousands had endured nonfatal overdoses. For that series, we examined death certificates from Jan. 2004-Aug. 2006 in the 28 communities we cover. ¶ The work revealed a time of untold tragedy for this region. ¶ We have more bad news — things are getting worse. ¶ We have revisited the records and updated our research — in the past 12 months, the number of overdoses surged, the number of dead hit a high. ¶ It’s clear — the sickness of opiate addiction, already beyond control, is spreading through our cities and towns. ¶ And there is no end — no cure to what’s killing our children — in sight.
— Steve Damish, managing editor