Opioids claim the lives of thousands of Americans each year – and yet people don’t want to talk about it. Now a band of bereaved parents are fighting back

Emily Walden was looking for answers even before the death of her son. Walden, from Louisville, Kentucky, first wanted to know what led TJ into the grasp of prescription opioid painkillers when he was still a teenager. But she soon latched on to another question.

How was it that a powerful narcotic pulled from sale in the 1970s as too dangerous – oxymorphone – was back in pharmacies and TJ’s pocket until it killed him at the age of 22?

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