Tens of thousands of Americans die each year from opioid overdoses

The federal response remains sluggish and inadequate
The Economist (UK)
Saturday, February 23, 2019

Drugs now kill about 70,000 Americans every year—more than car crashes or guns (both 39,000), more than AIDS did at the height of its epidemic (42,000), and more than all the American soldiers killed in the entire Vietnam war (58,000). In 2017 about 47,600 of those deaths were caused by opioid overdose – a fivefold increase since 2000. Only 32% of those opioid deaths involved prescription pills; the rest were from illegal heroin and fentanyl. But three out of four heroin users first became addicted to pills. What started as a problem of abused prescription drugs has been transformed by corporate greed, a failure of the health system and a lack of political will into a social disaster.