HUNTSVILLE, Ala (WHNT) — It’s no secret opioids are fueling a growing epidemic across the country.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 106,699 people died from drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2021.

The crisis is happening in Alabama as well.

It’s important to note that the state of Alabama has not finalized overdose death statistics for 2020 and 2021 yet.

However, more than 15,000 people were admitted into the emergency room for drug overdoses in Alabama in 2021.

Emergency medical services (EMS) responses to probable drug overdoses in Alabama have been going up by more than 1,000 each year over the past few years, with more than 10,400 reported in 2021.

On Saturday, March 25, News 19’s Emileigh Forrester will host “Pain & Suffering: The Opioid Story,” an hour-long broadcast aimed at digging deeper into the opioid crisis, its effects and how it’s being combated.

Medical and drug experts will share why opioids are so addictive, how this addiction manifests, and how it’s leading to the loss of lives.

We will also hear from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) about how the influx of fentanyl has changed the landscape of this epidemic in the Tennessee Valley.

We will talk to people who are in recovery and people who have lost loved ones in the midst of this epidemic, about what they want you to know.

Most importantly, we will dive into what resources are available for you or a loved one who may be struggling in this battle.

“Pain & Suffering: The Opioid Story” airs Saturday at 7 p.m. on WHNT News 19.We also invite you to join a Facebook live discussion immediately following the broadcast, where experts will answer your questions and provide life-saving advice. That live discussion will begin Saturday at 8 p.m. on WHNT News 19’s Facebook page.