CDC Data Shows Heroin Deaths Surpassed Firearm Related Homicides in 2015

Guns Don’t Kill People, Heroin Does


According to the latest numbers from CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), the figure of heroin related deaths (as in overdoses) surpassed firearm related homicides in 2015, for the first time in history.

It’s now official that the epidemic of opioid/heroin related deaths in the United States is growing fast on a year to year basis,as the latest data from  the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that almost five thousand more people died from an opioid overdose in 2015 compared to the previous year.

Heroin and opioid use in the United States basically exploded in the last two decades, as doctors begun to over prescribe painkillers starting with the early 90s. CDC’s report from Thursday shows clearly that the drug problem in the US is deadly serious (literally), as the number of deaths from overdoses outnumbered firearm related fatalities for the first time in history.

Just 9 years ago, back in 2007, firearm fatalities outnumbered heroin-related deaths five to one according to WaPo. In 2015, almost 13 thousand died from heroine abuse (the exact figure is 12,989) whilst 12,979 died from from firearm related incidents.

According to CDC, the rate of deaths from opioid/heroin (including synthetic drugs like fentanyl) abuse quadrupled since 1999. The same Washington Post that published the grim statistics from the CDC calculated the deaths resulted from all opioids combined and the final figure is 33,000 for last year alone, meaning that opioid deaths are outnumbering gun related homicides almost three to one.

Heroin is an opioid, together with other legal drugs that are available on prescription, the likes of hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxymorphone and fentanyl. Drug Enforcement Administration’s numbers from 2015 revealed the death rate from all these drugs combined: 46,471 as per 2013. In the same year, the gun related death rate, which includes suicides, accidental deaths and homicides was 33, 636.  There are lots of reasons for the huge increase in drug-related deaths, but the recent introduction of strong/synthetic opioids to the market is definitely part of the problem. The number of deaths from synthetic opioids like fentanyl grew 75 percent from 2014 to 2015 alone.

Even car-related deaths surpassed firearm deaths in 2013, as there were 35,369 car related deaths vs 33,636. A researcher from Duke University, Chris Conover crunched all these statistics and explained that car deaths if viewed as a percentage were way more higher compared to gun deaths, as there are 100,000,000 fewer cars than guns in the US, making owning a car 80 percent more riskier than owning a fire arm.

Source: The Washington Post