Opioid overdoses are claiming tens of thousands of American lives each year. There are a host of complex social, structural and drug-related factors that have contributed to the epidemic, but one of the primary factors in recent years is the synthetic opioid fentanyl. Cheaper to produce than heroin and 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, fentanyl is now laced into much of the street drug supply in the U.S., and people who use drugs often don’t know it’s there.

Officials are focused on a variety of efforts to address the opioid epidemic and overdose crisis. Those efforts include finding solutions to help prevent new addictions. They include increasing access to treatment. They include trying to halt the supply of illicit substances into cities and towns across the country. But to a far lesser extent, they include harm reduction – or strategies directly aimed at protecting the health and saving the lives of people who use drugs.

In this episode of the American Health Podcast, we look at harm reduction and talk about a recent study that has the potential to inform an innovative public health approach to the fentanyl overdose epidemic. Listen here

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