America's opioid epidemic has turned a frightening corner. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heroin and other opiates killed 33,092 people in the United States in 2015. That's the most in recent history.
Heroin overdose deaths alone exceeded the number of people killed in gun violence: 12,989 to 12,979. In 2007, deaths by gun violence outnumbered heroin deaths by more than five to one, The Washington Post reports.
Prescription opioid misuse and use of heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl are intertwined and deeply troubling problems.
Congress recently passed the 21st Century Cures Act, which includes $1 billion to fight the opioid epidemic. Heroin's popularity is due in part to crackdowns on prescription painkiller abuse in the late 2000s. Many addicts shifted to heroin, which can be cheaper and easier to get.
Trump supporters pinned the rise in heroin deaths on border security.
This graph shows the huge spike in recent years.
WATCH | Heroin is particularly prominent in the Midwest -- nowhere moreso than Huntington, West Virginia.
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