About 120 people a day are dying from unintentional drug overdoses, according the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
An increase in prescriptions for painkillers, like Oxycontin, is one reason. Another is that when opioids aren't available, people often turn to heroin because it is cheaper, stronger any easier to obtain these days.
The problem appears worse in some communities, but it’s not often clear why.
Martha Bebinger from Here & Now contributor WBUR takes us to Everett, Massachusetts, where the number of overdoses jumped from five in 2013 to 23 last year.
This segment aired on August 7, 2015.