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    Among the eldest two age groups, however, the percentage of deaths attributable to opioids remained relatively low, but jumped by 745% and 635%, respectively.

    Still, the study says opioids were involved in 1.5% of all deaths in 2016, regardless of age group. That means, the researchers write, that the drugs were responsible for more life years lost than high blood pressure, HIV/AIDs and pneumonia, and a tenth of those lost to cancer.

    “Premature death from opioid-related causes imposes an enormous and growing public health burden across the United States,” the researchers write. “These trends highlight a need for tailored programs and policies.”

    . .
    Parker Ehrreich, 12, has the same kind of cancer Matt Lampson had as a teenager. During this visit, Lampson eventually coaxed a smile out of him.
    . . .