Inquiring Minds: Opioid vs. gunshot, car crash deaths

A. Most experts agree that opioid abuse is a serious problem that is getting worse; however, the most recent complete statistics available are from 2015. In that year, there were 52,000 deaths from drug overdoses, compared to 36,000 people who died from gunshot wounds and 38,000 who died in car crashes. Drug deaths didn’t quite equal the combined total of victims of gun and auto violence, but the trend was clear, since 2015 saw more drug deaths than any previous year.

And that’s not the whole picture. According to a study by the Minnesota Department of Health conducted the same year, opioid-related deaths may be underreported or attributed to other causes, suggesting that the picture is even grimmer than the statistics reveal. 

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