Sept. 15, 2022 – Record numbers of people in the U.S. are dying from drug overdoses, more than 100,000 deaths a year. And now, public health experts here are watching a controversial experiment underway in Canada. It aims to keep drug users alive, not by curing their addiction but by helping them get high more safely. NPR addiction correspondent Brian Mann reports.

BRIAN MANN, BYLINE: Ann Marie Hopkins takes me down a street in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, where dozens of people lie on the sidewalk.

ANN MARIE HOPKINS: We do have quite a lot of overdoses out here. Hi, honey, how are you?

MANN: Hopkins runs a program here for people with addiction. But these days, that means scrambling all the time just to keep patients alive.


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