“When his son fell prey to America’s latest drug scourge, Joel Murphy, a funeral-home worker, knew his family had plenty of company. He could see it in the faces of the dead. Many of the corpses he picked up on the job were men in their 20s, with close-cropped hair, baseball caps and gaunt frames. They made him think of his youngest son, Joseph. “I see him sometimes, I see him in a lot of them,” he said.
“This is the human toll of the illegally made painkiller fentanyl, a synthetic narcotic that presents a new level of peril in the opioid crisis ravaging the U.S. Up to 50 times as powerful as heroin, and cheaper to produce, fentanyl is the end result of a drug trade that has proven wildly innovative and difficult to stop.”
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