Drug overdose deaths reached record highs in 2014, fueled largely by the abuse of narcotic painkillers and heroin, U.S. health officials reported Friday.
In 2014, more than 47,000 Americans died from drug overdoses — a 14 percent increase over 2013. Since 2000, nearly half a million people have died from overdoses, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
More than six out of 10 drug overdose deaths involved narcotics, including prescription painkillers and heroin, the report found.
“The increasing number of deaths from opioid [narcotic] overdose is alarming,” CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a statement.