Drug Overdose Deaths Nearly Tripled Since 1999, CDC Reports

Photo Credit: Marton Berta

WASHINGTON (CBS News) Drug overdose deaths have nearly tripled in the United States since 1999, with whites and middle-aged Americans bearing much of the brunt, a new government report shows.

More than 16 out of every 100,000 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2015, compared to just over 6 in 1999, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

Heroin and other opioids accounted for about half of these deaths, a reflection of the damage wrought by the prescription painkiller epidemic this decade, said Dr. Edwin Salsitz, an addiction medicine specialist.

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