US drug overdoses mean more organs for transplantation, Harvard study shows
The opioid epidemic ravaging the U.S. is killing tens of thousands a year, with over 63,600 overdose deaths in 2016. Although opioid prescriptions have started falling, the crisis is not abating. When pills aren’t available, many users turn to heroin or its more dangerous cousin, fentanyl. But a strange phoenix has risen from these ashes: life-saving organs available for transplantation. After Mandeep Mehra and a colleague at Harvard Medical School noticed an increase in the number of donors, they tracked the source to opioid-related deaths.
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