Preliminary estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that drug overdoses killed a record 72,300 Americans last year, The New York Times reports. The new numbers represent a 10 percent rise in overdose deaths in 2017, the same year that President Donald Trump declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency. According to the Times, the numbers show that more Americans are using opioids and the drugs being used are “becoming more deadly.” Deaths related to synthetic opioids, like the powerful drug fentanyl, rose “sharply” in 2017, while heroin, methadone, and opioid prescription pill deaths fell. Fentanyl has been found mixed in drugs like cocaine, meth, and some anti-anxiety medications, and can “overwhelm even experienced drug users.” States like Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, and New Jersey have seen double-digit percentage increases in opioid-related deaths. CNN reports that 25 people overdosed on opioid-laced drugs on Wednesday alone in the city of New Haven, Connecticut.
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