Opioid deaths surpass 30,000 in 2015 according to CDC
The Washington Post (12/8, Ingraham) reports data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday revealed that “opioid deaths continued to surge in 2015, surpassing 30,000 for the first time in recent history.” The data shows “an increase of nearly 5,000 deaths from 2014.” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a statement, “The epidemic of deaths involving opioids continues to worsen.” He added, “Prescription opioid misuse and use of heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl are intertwined and deeply troubling problems.”
The AP (12/8, Stobbe) reports that according to the data, overdose deaths rose “11 percent last year, to 52,404.” The AP specifies that “heroin deaths rose 23 percent in one year,” deaths “from synthetic opioids, including illicit fentanyl, rose 73 percent,” and abuse “of drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin” increased 4 percent. Robert Anderson, “who oversees death statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” said, “I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything like this. Certainly not in modern times.” The amount of deaths from overdose was greater than that of car crashes and gun violence.
CNN (12/8, Almasy) also covers the story.