Drug overdose deaths rose nearly 22% in 2016 to 63,632, two-thirds of which involved an opioid, according to a report released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Deaths from synthetic opioids other than methadone more than doubled to 19,413, likely driven by illicitly manufactured fentanyl, CDC said. Overdose deaths also rose about 52% for cocaine, 33% for psychostimulants, 20% for heroin, and 11% for prescription opioids. “No area of the United States is exempt from this epidemic – we all know a friend, family member, or loved one devastated by opioids,” said CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, M.D. “All branches of the federal government are working together to reduce the availability of illicit drugs, prevent deaths from overdoses, treat people with substance-use disorders, and prevent people from starting using drugs in the first place.” 

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