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CDC: Drug overdose deaths spiked 21 percent last year, 64K deaths

Source: UPI

Opioids accounted for a 21 percent increase in drug overdose deaths in 2016, U.S. officials said. File Photo by UPI/Shutterstock/Maxal Tamor

Sept. 4 (UPI) — Drug overdose deaths in the United States skyrocketed 21 percent in 2016 from the previous year, accounting for the deaths of approximately 64,000 people, according to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control.

Several states saw drug overdose death increases in the double digits, including Virginia (38 percent increase), Florida (55 percent), Maryland (67 percent) and Delaware (71 percent). New York City also saw a rise of about 50 percent.

Florida had the highest overall number of overdose deaths in 2016, with 5,167.

The reason for the spike appears to be fentanyl, a synthetic opioid analgesic similar to morphine but 50 to 100 times more…

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