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Government officials Tuesday urged first responders to increase their use of the drug naloxone to reverse overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids.

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A growing number of people switch back and forth between prescription painkillers and heroin, experts tell The New York Times. They call prescription opiates “heroin lite.”

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The heroin overdose antidote naloxone is becoming more widely available nationwide, the Los Angeles Times reports. California greatly expanded availability of the treatment as of January 1.

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Heroin laced with the synthetic opiate fentanyl is suspected in at least 50 recent fatal overdoses in three states, according to law enforcement officials. In Pennsylvania, the drug combination is suspected in at least 17 deaths. Officials in Maryland and Michigan are also investigating deaths linked to the drug mix.

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Top headlines of the week from Friday, January 31- Thursday, February 6, 2014.

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The addiction treatment medication buprenorphine was found in actor Philip Seymour Hoffman’s apartment, along with 50 bags of heroin and a variety of prescription drugs, according to New York City detectives.

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Cheap heroin is easy to find in New York City, according to law enforcement officials who spoke after actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead with dozens of packages of heroin in his apartment.

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Top headlines of the week from Friday, January 24- Thursday, January 30, 2014.

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The Drug Enforcement Administration has joined an investigation into the source of a batch of heroin that killed 22 people in western Pennsylvania, The Wall Street Journal reports. The heroin involved in some of the deaths contained the synthetic opiate fentanyl, often used during surgery.

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday unanimously ruled a heroin dealer cannot be held liable for a client’s death and given a longer sentence if heroin only contributed to the death, and was not necessarily the only cause.

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