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Fueled by Covid, the Opioid Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

Feb. 20, 2021, 11:00 AM

The last thing Dave A. Mullen remembers is the sound of his speech slurring. Then he collapsed.

The 57-year-old Navy veteran lost his kitchen job at Hooters in March because of the pandemic. Hungry and desperate, he eventually resorted to asking strangers for spare change on the streets of Cocoa, Fla.

In what he calls a “small moment of weakness,” in late July he accepted an offer of what he now believes was heroin mixed with fentanyl. The slip put an end to more than three years of sobriety and led to a near-fatal overdose.

“Next thing I knew, the...

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