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Drug overdose death rates are down for the first time since 1990, new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data reveal.
Halfway through 2018, the overdose death rate was 21.9 per every 100,000 deaths, a nearly seven percent drop from the year before.
Drug - Overdoses - Lives - Health - Officials
Driven by the opioid epidemic, drug overdoses claimed the lives of more than 70,200 and health officials have questioned when the tide would finally turn.
Now, overdose deaths may at last be slowing down after years of efforts to cut prescription painkillers and distribute naloxone, the overdose reversal drug.
Quarters - Quarter - Death - Rate
During the first two quarters of 2018 and the last quarter of 2017, the overdose death rate held steady.
At first, officials cautioned the drop could just be a blip.
Months - Data - Carry - Weight
But now that it's held steady for months consecutively, the data carry a little more weight.
Every year since 2010, drug overdose deaths have set a new record.
Drug - Deaths - Peak - AIDS - Crisis
Drug overdose deaths have surpassed the peak of the AIDS crisis, in 1995, the record highest rate of gun deaths, in 2017, and the highest number of car crashes in a single year, 1972.
Overdoses - especially of potent painkillers like heroin, OxyContin and fentanyl - killed more Americans in two years than the entire Vietnam war did.
Epidemic - Life - US - Years - Row
The opioid epidemic is even responsible for driving American life expectancy down in the US for the last three years in a row - a first since
At 68,557, the number of people who died of overdoses...
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