Opioid overdose deaths are currently the highest on record in the UK and globally. There are many differing views on why this is the case, and it is a complex phenomenon that is not fully understood. Historically, problematic heroin and opioid use and related mortality were not always considered a national problem or the public health crisis that it is considered today.

Cutting through established stereotypes that mythologise the culture of heroin and opioid use, this project draws upon history and science to focus attention on the origins of opioids and on the biology of overdose.