Well, no cannonball did fly, no rifles cut us down. No bombs fell from the sky, no blood soaked the ground. No powder flash blinded the eye. No deathly thunder sounded. But just as sure as the hand of God, they brought death to my hometown. —Bruce Springsteen

Greenville, North Carolina, is a city of 90,000 people that’s not all that different from a lot of other places in America, except in the one way it seems worse. But maybe only a little. In WaPo (Gift Article) Lenny Bernstein and Jordan-Marie Smith take you to one town in America to witness what has become an all-too common American story. Drugs killed 8 friends, one by one, in a tragedy seen across the U.S. “It came and it took them,” said Joe Hughes, the St. Peter basketball coach and history teacher who spoke at three funerals and attended five more. “It just, it took them.”

+ Many drug-related deaths are related to opiate overdoses. But there’s another side to the painkiller story: those who desperately need painkillers, but who are caught up in the war against them. Vice: This Couple Died by Suicide After the DEA Shut Down Their Pain Doctor.