Baltimore is often called the “heroin capital” of the U.S., and has been battling the drug for decades. As many one in every 10 residents is addicted. But fatal overdoses are rising sharply, largely because the heroin is often cut with fentanyl, which is 50-100 times more potent, but varies in amount from batch to batch.
Bad batches are killing so many people that one resident, along with his team of young programmers and a grant from the city, created an emergency text alert system for mass overdose events.
This is the fifth installment for Vice’s series “World of Hurt,” which examines the ways different regions are responding to the nation’s opioid crisis.