Reporting from the Frontlines

It’s ever-harder to do justice to the gravity of the US opioid crisis, but TIME goes some way in its first-ever issue dedicated to a single topic.

Tracking users, first responders, families, funerals and recoveries, James Nachtwey’s haunting photos are nothing short of war photography—with opioids as the enemy.

A pregnant addict is photographed with a needle in her belly; another describes the spiraling price of OxyContin’s “warm hug from Jesus” leading him to heroin. Police lament a tragic new normal across the country.

Who are they? “Ordinary citizens, our neighbors, our family members,” writes Paul Moakley. “No one wants to be an addict.”


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