whitepillsoneyellowpill_article(UAB News, June 6) The numbers — and the heartbreaking stories contained within them — are staggering.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two out of three drug overdose deaths involve an opioid. Overdose deaths from opioids, including prescription opioids, heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl, have increased almost six times since 1999. Opioid-involved overdoses killed more than 47,000 people in 2017, and 36 percent of those deaths involved prescription opioids.

Alabama is not immune to the consequences of opioid use. In 2017, the state had the highest overall opioid prescribing rate.

Why is that, and what can be done to make sure people are cared for while not harming them at the same time?

Fortunately, the University of Alabama at Birmingham has made significant contributions in the battle against opioids in the research field and at the bedside, all in an attempt to answer those questions and, ultimately, save more lives. Read more.

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