Heroin Overdoses In US Surge 25 Percent Since 2010

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In 2010, there were 3,036 overdose fatalities related to heroin in the U.S. In 2015, that number increased more than fourfold to 12,989 heroin-related overdose deaths, according to aReuters report citing data from the NCHS.

However, the new report details some striking changes in two areas: First, the specific drugs involved in the deaths; and second, the age groups of the people most affected.

Four states - West Virginia, New Hampshire, Kentucky and OH - lead the nation with the highest overdose death rates, the CDC said. In 1999, the percentage of drug overdoses related to heroin use was 8%, but the new 25% statistic more than triples its predecessor.

Alexander pointed out that the data highlighted how many people the drugs have impacted from across various age groups. For males, the rate rose from 8.2 per 100,000 in 1999 to 20.8 in 2015, an average spike of 5% a year.

Authors of the study note in 2010 only eight percent of all fatal drug overdoses stemmed from heroin.

Some 5000,000 Americans died from 2000 to 2015 as a result of the opioid epidemic, the CDC says. While all age groups saw increases in death, the 55-to-64 group saw the biggest increase, with a five-fold jump since 1999.

But the increase was not all due to opioids, the percent of drug deaths from cocaine increased to 13 percent in 2015 compared to 11 percent in 2010.

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The number of deadly heroin overdoses in the United States more than quadrupled from 2010 to 2015, a federal agency said on Friday, as the price of the drug dropped and its potency increased.

That number is higher than the rate of death for suicides in the United States, 13.4 deaths per 100,000, or the rate of death from vehicle accidents, 11.1 deaths per 100,000 residents.

Overdose deaths are so common that they're driving down the average life expectancy for white Americans, said Salsitz, who is with Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.

Dr. Corey Slovis, chairman of department of emergency medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and medical director of the National Fire Department and National Airport, said the current drug epidemic is "the worst that I've ever seen it", according to ABC. Heroin's increase was met with decreases in drug deaths including oxycodone and methadone.

"You are 40 times more likely to use heroin if you stated with opioid painkillers", Hamburg said. One drug, carfentanil, is used as an elephant tranquilizer.

Shelly Prasad Chawla contributed to this article.

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