CDC: Deaths From Drug Overdoses In U.S. Spiked in 2016

Published: Wednesday, December 20, 2017 - 5:37pm
Updated: Thursday, December 21, 2017 - 9:28am

Deaths from drug overdoses in the U.S. spiked in 2016 according to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 63,600 people died from drug-related overdoses last year. That marks a 21 percent increase from 2015. Opioids continue to dominate the picture, primarily fentanyl and heroin.

Bob Anderson is with the CDC.

“There does seem to be evidence that people are shifting from the traditional prescription opioids to heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, both of which are more deadly,” Anderson said.

More than 1,300 people in Arizona died from overdoses in 2016. Arizona’s death rate is statistically about the same as the national rate — unlike neighboring states Utah, New Mexico and Nevada.

For the first time since the early '60s, life expectancy decreased for a second year in a row, dropping to 78.6 years. Anderson attributes that to the death toll from overdoses.

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