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Some California ERs treat drug addiction like any other disease

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Emergency Room entrance. Credit: CC0 Public Domain.

More than 70,000 people died in the U.S. from drug overdoses in 2017. More than two-thirds of them involved opioids. The numbers from 2018 appear to be just as bad. Some California hospitals are trying a new approach to fight opioid addiction. They’re treating an addict in the emergency room the same way they’d treat a patient with heart disease: stabilizing drugs and ongoing outpatient treatment.