By Washington Post Staff
Since 2016, The Washington Post has been investigating the opioid epidemic that has ravaged communities and claimed the lives of more than 200,000 people nationwide since 1996.
This week, a previously unreleased Drug Enforcement Administration database that tracks the path of every single pain pill sold in the United States — from manufacturers and distributors to pharmacies in every town and city — was made public. It was disclosed as part of a civil action brought by nearly 2,000 cities, towns and counties alleging nearly two dozen drug companies conspired to saturate the nation with opioids. The database is a virtual road map to the epidemic.