U.S. overdose deaths rising ruthlessly: CDC report

U.S. overdose deaths rising ruthlessly: CDC report

Driven by heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl, overall drug overdose deaths in the United States have jumped by nearly 33 per cent in the last five years, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's latest report.

At least 30 states saw spikes in overdose deaths resulting from the abuse of drugs like heroin and prescription painkillers or opioids, with some states seeing increases of nearly 200 per cent. For instance, the states of New Hampshire and Maine saw increases of 191 per cent and 100 per cent, respectively.

At least 33,091of the 52,404 drug overdose deaths that were reported during 2015 involved prescription painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone.

This year, drug overdose deaths in New Hampshire alone are expected to top 500, with heroin, fentanyl and opioids continue to be the primary drivers of addiction deaths.

Republican Jeb Bradley, the N.H. Senate majority leader, said, "Obviously the fact that 500 people are going to succumb to addiction this year is just a terrible tragedy. It reminds us all that we have to make sure that we ... monitor carefully what's working and what isn't and be prepared as we come back in January to address this issue."

CDC chief Dr. Tom Frieden said an increasing number of Americans are feeling the devastation of the opioid crisis, and stressed that there is an urgent need for taking steps to help health care providers treat pain safely and treat opioid addicts effectively, in addition to enhance law enforcement to reduce the availability of illegal opiates.

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