Fatal drug overdoses reached a new high in 2014, killing nearly 50,000 Americans, more than were killed in auto accidents, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Twice as many Americans died from drug overdoses in 2014 as in 2000.
Most of the deaths involved heroin or prescription narcotic painkillers like OxyContin. These drugs accounted for 28,647 deaths in 2014, or 61 percent of the overdose deaths. Deaths from heroin and narcotic painkillers increased 14 percent last year, to nine per 100,000 from 7.9, according to the C.D.C.
Men and women of all races and ethnic groups and nearly all ages were affected by drug overdoses, but the national numbers were affected mainly by increases in deaths in 14 states: Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The other states had no significant increases compared with 2013. Among the five states with the highest rates of drug overdose deaths — West Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Ohio — two, Kentucky and West Virginia, had no significant increases from 2013.
Correction: December 18, 2015
An earlier version of this article misstated the number of Americans who died of drug overdoses in 2014. It was 50,000, not half a million. The error was repeated in the headline
An earlier version of this article misstated the number of Americans who died of drug overdoses in 2014. It was 50,000, not half a million. The error was repeated in the headline and in a capsule summary.
By Gina Colata - The NY Times/Dec. 18, 2015
Art: Fine Art America
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