Officers gather kratom plants in Phang Nha province, Thailand. Thailand on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021, decriminalized the possession and sale of kratom, a plant native to Southeast Asia.

Thailand legalizes kratom, a mild narcotic leaf

Health & Medicine

For much of the pandemic era, bars in Thailand have shuttered, eviscerating the country’s food-and-beverage sector. But the legalization of kratom caught many by surprise, and now, some bar owners are hoping the drug can keep their businesses alive.

A pharmacist holds prescription painkiller OxyContin, 40mg pills, made by Purdue Pharma L.D. at a local pharmacy.

Why the opioid crisis is an American problem


Medical marijuana legalized in Peru

Global Politics
The World

US and Russia collaborate on drug raids in Afghanistan

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic death is an ominous sign of heroin’s expanding reach

Conflict & Justice

Israeli company says its developed medical marijuana strain that won’t get you high

Health & Medicine

Israel has had legal medical marijuana for about 10 years. But a recent development stands to potentially change the market, with an Israeli company saying it has developed a THC-free strain of cannabis. THC is the ingredient in marijuana that produces the “high.”

Canada’s First Nations communities wrecked by OxyContin addiction

Health & Medicine

Fort Hope, Ontario, is one of a handful of communities in Canada where addiction to the powerful narcotic painkiller OxyContin runs rampant. An estimated 80 percent of working-age adults there abuse the prescription drug, and it’s stretching the resources of the community and leading the drastic increases in crime.

PRI’s ‘The World’: Mexico’s War

An audio slideshow about Mexico’s war on heroin, and the efforts of local and national entities to eradicate it.

Why San Diego is the Biggest Entry Point for Mexican Meth

Arts, Culture & Media

During a recent five-year period, three times more meth was seized at San Diego ports of entry than all other US-Mexico border crossings combined. And meth seizures this year are on track to far surpass 2012.

Palliative care patient in Pune, India.

Part V: Dispensing Comfort

Health & Medicine

Modern cancer care involves more than the latest surgical techniques and drugs; it also offers freedom from pain. Yet basic palliative care is almost nonexistent for many patients in developing countries. What is being done to bring them pain relief?