Americans more likely to die from opioid overdose than crash

The report on preventable deaths from the National Safety Council found that Americans have a 1 in 96 chance of death due to an opioid overdose, based on 2017 accidental death data.

The primary cause of this increase, according to the Times, is not pills like Oxycontin, but fentanyl, which is generally administered through a patch or intravenously.

The NSC analysis also shows that falls are more likely to result in death than ever before.

Overdoses overtook vehicle accidents as the leading cause of death, as the probability of dying from an overdose is 1 in 96 in America, while the probably of dying in a auto crash is 1 in 103. For motor vehicle accidents the odds were 1 in 103 and 1 in 114 for falls. Many have suggested legalizing marijuana, as states with legalized cannabis often have lower rates of opioid abuse and studies have shown addicts will either use less painkillers or quit them entirely when given access to cannabis to treat their pain instead. The lifetime odds of suicide were greater, at 1 in 88.

"We've made significant strides in overall longevity in the United States, but we are dying from things typically called accidents at rates we haven't seen in half a century", Ken Kolosh, manager of statistics at the National Safety Council, said, according to PR Newswire. "These data show the gravity of the crisis".

Kolosh noted that opioid overdose is a very specific poisoning, with lifetime odds of death that are much greater than the risk of death from falls, gunshot wounds, drowning or fire.

Nationally, there were almost 170,000 preventable-injury deaths in 2017 - a 5 percent increase from 2016. "We can make smarter decisions throughout our lives".

In 2018, unintentional injury was found to be the leading cause of death in the United States, with more than 61,000 people aged 1 to 44 dying from this cause in 2016 - almost twice as many as from cancer and heart disease combined.

Wood County Sheriff Steve Stephens tells us his deputies responded to 11 fatal motor vehicle crashes in 2018. Kentucky is among the top ten states for the number of deaths related to opioid use, with almost 1,000 reported in 2016. It is estimated that on average, 130 American die from an opioid overdose every day.

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