World of Hurt | Needle Park, Philadelphia (HBO)

The opioid crisis has become a national emergency. Overdose is now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 — worse than car crashes or gun violence.

But the epidemic is more than just numbers. And to understand it, you have to go to the communities it’s tearing apart.

VICE News visits McPherson Square Park and Library in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. We meet a librarian who routinely revives dying addicts, a longtime resident who collects dozens of used syringes every day, and a former college athlete struggling with addiction.

Elements of this story were first reported by Philadelphia Inquirer Columnist Mike Newall.

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