47,000 Americas died from drug overdose in 2014. That's a shocking figure. 47,000 is the number of US soldiers who died in Vietnam combat. And that was over 20 years.
Heroin deaths have shot up since 2010:
From the Times:
The death rate from drug overdoses is climbing at a much faster pace than other causes of death, jumping to an average of 15 per 100,000 in 2014 from nine per 100,000 in 2003.
Nationally, opioids were involved in more than 61 percent of deaths from overdoses in 2014. [Only 61%? I'm actually surprised it's that low.] Deaths from heroin overdoses have more than tripled since 2010 and are double the rate of deaths from cocaine.
The biggest increase in deaths was from from synthetic opioids, which went up 80%. According to the CDC, the increase in synthetic opioid deaths coincided with increased reports by law enforcement of illicitly manufactured fentanyl.Maybe we could look at a country that has come very close (knock on wood) to solving this problem? There are about 100 overdose deaths in the Netherlands. 16.8 million people. That's a rate of 0.6. Yeah: zero-point-six. Put another way, if the Netherlands were the size of the US, there would be about 2,000 overdose deaths. So what do they do in the Netherlands? Give that shit away for free, literally.
The states with the highest rates of overdose were West Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Ohio.
Since 2000, opioid drug overdose deaths rose 200%. Nearly half a million lives have been lost to opioid drug overdoses since then.
Or maybe we should just take out another kingpin or two. That always seems to work.