(CNN, December 21) More than 63,600 lives were lost to drug overdose in 2016, the most lethal year yet of the drug overdose epidemic, according to a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Most of those deaths involved opioids, a family of painkillers including illicit heroin and fentanyl as well as legally prescribed medications such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. In 2016 alone, 42,249 US drug fatalities -- 66% of the total -- involved opioids, the report says. That's over a thousand more than the 41,070 Americans who die from breast cancer every year. Read more.