As of late 2016, drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, surpassing deaths from auto accidents, suicides, and guns. Deaths from drug overdoses have gone up 137% since 2000. More than forty-seven thousand people—nearly one hundred twenty-nine people every day—died of drug overdoses in 2014, the latest year for which the US government has complete numbers. Opiates are natural forms of painkilling drugs (such as morphine, heroin, and codeine) derived from the opium poppy. Opioids are synthetic opiates that include the generic medications hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, and fentanyl. The terms are often used interchangeably. Nurse, medical writer, and public health expert Connie Goldsmith investigates the neurology of addiction, the environmental triggers of addiction and overdose, the complexities of getting and staying sober, and efforts to educate medical professionals and patients about the risks of opioids.