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Drug overdose is the leading cause of death among people under 50 in the U.S

June 6, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Drug overdose is the leading cause of death among people under 50 in the U.S

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More people across the U.S. are dying from drug overdose than ever before, and a new study reveals that it is the leading cause of death for people under 50.

Using state and county death records, the New York Times reported that 62,000 people died from drug overdose in 2016 — a 19% rise compared to 2015.

The newspaper credited the spike to the country’s continuing opioid crisis — which is at its worst in Ohio, where deaths from overdoses grew 25% last year.

“It is the only aspect of American health that’s getting worse,” Dr. Tom Frieden, the former director of the CDC, told the New York Times.

The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health noted that over two million Americans are believed to be dependent on opioids and that an additional 95 million used prescription painkillers in the past year.

The Times reported that Fentanyl, a narcotic used to treat severe pain, has been tied to over double the amount of drug-induced seizures over the past year.

Statistics from the study indicated that deaths last year in the Western U.S. might have decreased – possibly due to the variations in East and West coast heroin. In the West, it’s black tar, and in the East, it’s powdered.

Fatal drug overdoses in Philadelphia, for example, have increased from about 300 in 2010 to more than 500 in 2015 while they’ve remained under 200 in San Francisco for over 30 years.

The Times report was published on the same day that Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued a state of emergency in the midst the recent increase in prescription pain pill and heroin overdoses in the state.

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