The heartbreaking data of the drug overdose epidemic continues to roll in.
According to provisional data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 69,703 Americans died from drug overdoses, almost ten thousand more than in 2015, when 59,902 people died.
Of the 2017 drug overdoses, those caused by opioids outnumber the deaths caused by cocaine, heroin, and methadone combined.
To compare, in Quarter 2 of 2017, drug overdoses killed more than firearms, HIV, suicide, and influenza. Drug overdoses caused the deaths of 21 out of every 100,000 Americans.
Deaths per 100,000
- Firearms – 12.2
- HIV – 1.8
- Suicide – 14.1
- Influenza and Pneumonia – 16.9
- Kidney Disease – 15.5
- Drug Overdoses – 21.0
Many turned to Twitter to express their shock and concern with the growing epidemic.
58,000 Americans died in the entire Vietnam War. In 2017 alone, 72,000 died from drug overdoses. https://t.co/iRYMg8xQAZ
— David Wessel (@davidmwessel) August 15, 2018
Bleak New Estimates in Drug Epidemic: A Record 72,000 Overdose Deaths in 2017 https://t.co/52xHS2mhLI
— Eric Bolling?? (@ericbolling) August 16, 2018
President Donald Trump declared the fighting the opioid epidemic as one of his top priorities, touting the record number of prescription drugs returned during the Department of Justice’s prescription Take Back Day.
Together, we will face this challenge as a national family with conviction, with unity, and with a commitment to love and support our neighbors in times of dire need. Working together, we will defeat this #OpioidEpidemic.
Full Opioid Summit: https://t.co/qqfeVr4BBf pic.twitter.com/oFvr0DJMEf
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 1, 2018
National Prescription Drug #TakeBackDay numbers are in! Another record broken: nearly 1 MILLION pounds of Rx pills disposed! Let’s keep fighting this opioid epidemic, America!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2018
Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) are also working on a bipartisan bill to help reduce the presence of deadly synthetic drugs in the United States.
A record 72,000 people overdosed in the U.S. in 2017, many from synthetic opioids. This has got to stop. We must pass my bill w/ @senrobportman to help curb synthetic drugs & keep them out of our communities. https://t.co/bYM0AtamLuhttps://t.co/uc73Coo4xX
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) August 16, 2018
Hopefully, this will be one area where the two parties can put politics aside to work together to end the epidemic.