Young Americans are now more likely to die by overdosing on drugs than by any other cause of death – with overdoses killing more in a year than were ever killed annually by HIV, war, gun violence or car accidents.
Preliminary CDC data published by the New York Times shows drug overdose deaths surged 19 percent to at least 59,000 last year.
That means that for the first time drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 years old.
The disturbing new data lays bare the bleak state of America’s opioid addiction crisis fueled by deadly manufactured Big Pharma drugs like fentanyl.
Daily Mail reports: The figures are based on preliminary data, which will form part of an official report by the CDC later this year.
Experts warn a key factor of the surge in deaths is fentanyl, which can be 50 times more powerful than heroin.
The Times said its data showed between 59,000 and 65,000 people could have died from overdoses in 2016, up from 52,404 in 2015, and double the death rate a decade ago.
‘And all evidence suggests the problem has continued to worsen in 2017,’ the Times said.
On Tuesday the US Drug Enforcement Administration issued a stark warning to officers over handling fentanyl, which drug traffickers use as a cheap way to strengthen the effect of heroin and prescription opioids.
It pointed to several cases in which police officers experienced extreme reactions after inadvertently touching or inhaling fentanyl-spiked drugs.
The officers needed strong and sometime multiple injections of anti-overdose drugs like Narcan to prevent death.
‘The spread of fentanyl means that any encounter a law enforcement officer has with an unidentified white powder could be fatal,’ said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at a DEA event.
‘Just two milligrams – the equivalent of a few grains of table salt, an amount that can fit on the tip of your finger – can be lethal,’ Rosenstein said.
The DEA has also warned officers against letting drug-sniffing dogs too close to anything that might contain fentanyl.