COLUMBUS, Ind. — A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study says, for the first time, opioid overdose deaths have surpassed gun homicides in 2015. It was also the first year overdose deaths exceeded 30,000.
“The epidemic of deaths involving opioids continues to worsen,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden. “Prescription opioid misuse, and use of heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, are intertwined and deeply troubling problems.”
Many of the fatalities involve one or more drugs, or sometimes alcohol. To put the increase into perspective, in 2007 gun homicides outnumbered overdose deaths by 5 to 1.