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A Promising New Drug Kills Pain Like Morphine—And It’s Not Addictive, Either

The compound is a huge step forward in the fight to end America’s dangerous addiction to prescription narcotics.

Throw around the word “opioid”—a morphine-derived painkiller like heroin, Vicodin, or Oxycontin—and “epidemic” is likely to follow. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that U.S. deaths from opioid abuse are at a record high, with 78 fatalities occurring every day, a number that has quadrupled since 1999. A 2016 Kaiser Health survey found that nearly half of respondents reported knowing someone with an addiction to heroin, which in certain parts of the country is becoming a cheap, easily accessible alternative once the prescription runs out.

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