U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths Rose 7% in 2014

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Dec. 11, 2015 -- Heroin and narcotic painkillers were major factors in the seven percent rise in drug overdose deaths in the United States between 2013 and 2014, federal government data shows.

There were more than 47,000 overdose deaths last year. That included nearly 19,000 deaths from powerful prescription painkillers -- 16 percent more than in 2013 -- and about 10,500 deaths from heroin, a 28 percent increase from 2013, the Associated Press reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is analyzing the data in an effort to learn the reasons for last year's increases, agency director Dr. Tom Frieden said.

He added that the drug overdose situation clearly "is not getting better," the AP reported.

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