An unprecedented trend in fatalities was discovered from newly obtained government statistics, which indicate that the number of deaths in the United States caused by heroin overdoses exceeded the total number of gun homicides last year.
This is the first time in the history of the United States that heroin use killed more Americans than felons with guns.
Even though some – at first glance – could take the turnaround as good news by assuming violent deaths involving firearms is down, this is far from the case.
Drug use up, violence up
The fact is, according to information received from the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by the Washington Post, violent deaths intentionally inflicted by guns increased last year, as well. Therefore, this announcement proves that trends in Americans’ dangerous behavior are on the rise on both ends, which causes even more concern – especially with the uptick in racial tensions regarding violence against and at the hands of police.
“[The new statistic] marks an increase in the number of deaths caused by the worsening opioid epidemic plaguing the country,” TheBlaze reported from the latest data pulled by the Washington, D.C.- based daily.
By less than 100 deaths, 2015 records recorded by the U.S. government divulge that heroin was a more lethal agent of death in America than guns – a statistic that could trigger more sparks in the gun control vs. gun rights debate.
“In 2015, gun homicides were estimated at 12,979, slightly surpassed by heroin-related deaths at 12,989,” the report continued.
The continued escalation in gun-related murders is of great concern, but even more alarming is the fact revealed by the Washington Post that less than a decade ago in 2007, fatalities due to heroin overdoses were outnumbered by gun homicides more than five times over – marking a startling lethal shift toward illicit drug use.
But it is also reported that heroin is far from the only lethal drug habit plaguing the streets of America.
“[H]eroin only accounts for a portion of opioids being abused by drug addicts,” TheBlaze’s Tré Goins-Phillips explained. “One of the deadliest drugs on the market in fentanyl, which can be 40 to 50 times stronger than heroin.”
The problem with fentanyl is that it intensifies the effects of other drugs, making them even more potent and dangerous for the human body to endure.
[S]ome dealers cut their product with fentanyl, which leads to unintended overdoses because of the strength of the drug,” Goins-Phillips pointed out.
Going right alongside the spike in heroin deaths, Fentanyl-related deaths were reported to have skyrocketed between 2014 and 2015 by 75 – an increased rate that raises many new concerns.
Americans dying younger
Even more bad news – in addition to the increased fatality rates involving heroin and guns – was recently divulged by yet another CDC report.
The government agency previously disclosed numbers indicating that the life expectancy rate of those living in the U.S. decreased by 0.1 years in 2015.
It is noted that the last time that Americans’ life expectancy dipped was more than two decades ago – back in 1993.
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.