People in the US are more likely to die from opioid overdose than car accidents, according to new reports

The National Safety Council analysed fatality statistics and found that, for the first time, people are more likely to die from an opioid overdose than from a car accident, CNN reported.

More specifically, the National Safety Council found that the odds of dying from an opioid overdose are 1 in 96 in the United States, while the odds of death from a car accident are 1 in 103. They also analysed the likelihood of death from other preventable injuries and determined the rates of death from falls was 1 in 114 and death from suicide was 1 in 88, making it the most likely reason for death from preventable injury.

“The increases in home and public deaths were largely driven by a 11% increase in poisoning deaths (including opioid overdoses),” the National Safety Council explained on its website.

Synthetic drugs have worsened the United States opioid epidemic

Increased access to synthetic opioids is one reason the opioid epidemic has gotten increasingly worse over the years, INSIDER previously reported. One synthetic opioid, fentanyl, was specifically called out in a December 2018 report from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In fact, the CDC said synthetic opioid-related deaths increased 45.2% between 2016 and 2017, while death rates from non-synthetic opioids such as prescription opioids and heroin stayed stable between 2016 to 2017.

Fentanyl heroinDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesIncreased access to synthetic opioids is one reason the opioid epidemic has gotten increasingly worse over the years.

While these drugs are meant to help relieve pain, synthetic opioids “tend to be highly potent” and are often illegally manufactured, the CDC warned on its website.

The epidemic has contributed to a decrease in US life expectancy

Opioid-related overdoses and deaths have gotten so bad they have contributed to a decrease in United States life expectancy for the second year in a row, INSIDER previously reported.

“Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the Nation’s overall health and these sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable,” CDC director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said in a statement.

In fact, there were 70,237 deaths from drug overdoses in 2017 alone, which was a 9.6% increase from the year prior, the CDC said.


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