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Parents can feel hopeless when they enter the child welfare system. And things get complicated when California steps in to play parent.
Picture of Teresa Sforza
When the "crack baby epidemic" of the 1980s and '90s was raging, many experts offered stark, long-term forecasts. While those were overblown, there still is cause for concern. This series was produced with the support of the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism Impact Fund.
Picture of Kellie  Schmitt
“What you’re hearing is that the pain killer problem has turned into a heroin problem,” Dr. Andrew Kolodny said. “That makes for a good story, but that isn’t really what’s going on.”
Picture of Ed Williams
Research shows early childhood education is one of the most effective ways to prevent drug use later in life. That’s especially important in New Mexico's Rio Arriba County, where an opioid epidemic has been raging for decades.
Picture of Ed Williams
Española, New Mexico, has had one of the highest rates of heroin addiction in the country for decades. It’s a public health crisis that can create particular challenges for pregnant moms and their doctors.
Picture of Joe Szydlowski

In Northern California's Shasta County, a growing number of young adults are consumed by heroin addiction. The problem has quickly grown in the past two years and, some say, is approaching methamphetamine’s popularity. The surge in drug use has fueled a rise in crime levels as well.

Picture of Joe Szydlowski

In far Northern California, which already is besieged by methamphetamine, law enforcement, doctors and community leaders have noticed another drug is snaking its way back into the black market’s customer base: Heroin.

Picture of Evan George

Heroin addiction grabbed the national spotlight recently after famed actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died on Super Bowl Sunday. He was almost certainly not alone that day — about 100 Americans die every day from drug overdoses. Can anything be done to stop this?

Picture of Julia Landau

At the center of one of the great medical controversies of our time, the mishmash around pain medication and addiction to prescription drugs has caused alarm in law enforcement and the public.  But the realities of patients who have chronic pain problems, chronic addiction problems, or both, are not

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