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'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.
CDC: Heroin deaths surpassed gun homicides in 2015. Direct result of our open, poorly protected southern border. Must build the wall! #MAGA— The Trump Train (@The_Trump_Train) December 9, 2016
Trump supporters pinned the rise in heroin deaths on border security.
This graph shows the huge spike in recent years.
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