Deaths from drug overdoses have surged in nearly every county across the United States—”from the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters,” in rural as well as urban areas—driven by an explosion in addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin.
The death rate from drug overdoses is climbing at a much faster rate than other causes of death, jumping to an average of 15 per 100,000 people in 2014 from nine per 100,000 in 2003.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “the United States is experiencing an epidemic of drug overdose (poisoning) deaths.” In 2014, 47,055 people died from drug overdoses—1.5 times greater than the number killed in car crashes. Opioids are involved in 61% of all drug overdose deaths.
This land may belong to you and me. But the increasing numbers of us dying from drug overdoses will never be able to enjoy it.