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Americans More Likely to Die From Opioid Overdose Than in a Car Accident

PHOTO: New York Post/Getty Stock Images

By Ashley Welch | 15 January 2019

CBS NEWS — For the first time on record, Americans are more likely to die of an accidental opioid overdose than in a motor vehicle crash, according to a new report from the National Safety Council.

The group calculates that the chance of dying from an opioid overdose has increased to 1 in 96, surpassing the odds of dying in a car accident, at 1 in 103. It’s also greater than the odds of dying from a fall, a gun assault, pedestrian accident, or drowning.

“The opioid crisis remains an abstract issue for many people; they still believe it will not happen to them, or it isn’t a risk facing them or their family,” Maureen Vogel, spokeswoman for the National Safety Council, told CBS News. “These numbers show the gravity of the problem our country is facing. We need to reprioritize and regroup, because all these deaths are preventable.”

Each day more than 130 Americans die after overdosing on opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report finding the number of drug overdose deaths among middle-aged women skyrocketed between 1999 and 2017, with opioids, including fentanyl and heroin, being the main driver. Deaths from prescription and illicit opioids in children and teens also tripled over the same time period, according to a recent study published in JAMA Network Open. […]

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