Heroin now kills more people than guns: Drugs overdoses claimed 50,000 lives in the US last year

Friday, December 9, 2016
By Paul Martin

The number of heroin deaths rose 23% to 12,989, more than gun homicides
Fentanyl – a synthetic opiate – claimed 16,000 lives, equivalent to 44 per day
Heroin claimed the lives of Hollywood actor Philip Seymour Hoffman in 2014
But the majority of those killed are ordinarypeople in smalltown America

9 December 2016

More than 50,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, the highest figure ever.

The tally has been pushed to new heights by soaring abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers, especially fentanyl.

Heroin deaths rose 23 per cent in a year, to 12,989, slightly higher than the number of gun homicides, according to government data released yesterday.

The total number of gun deaths – which included suicides and accidents – rose seven per cent to 36,252.

It comes only days after another report which showed fentanyl, a synthetic opiate which is 40 times stronger than heroin, has become the largest drug threat to the United States, and causes 44 deaths every day.

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