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In this Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015 photograph, a jug of used needles to exchange for new is seen  near, Jim "Woods" Ellis in an industrial area of Camden, N.J., as Ellis describes using the drug, naloxone, often known by the brand name Nacran, to reverse an addict's heroin overdose. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Heroin overdoses killed more people in the US than guns last year, according to the CDC


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.
Tom Frieden, CDC Director

Congress's recently passed spending bill 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.

780 million opioid painkillers were shipped into West Virginia in the past 2 years alone

WATCH  | This Mannequin Challenge video has a more serious message than most. 

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