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American Drug Deaths Rose More Last Year Than in the Previous Four Combined

The epidemic is accelerating, new data show.
A man injects a shot of heroin in Philadelphia, Penn. on April 14.

A man injects a shot of heroin in Philadelphia, Penn. on April 14.

Photographer: DOMINICK REUTER/AFP via Getty Images

American drug deaths rose by 21 percent last year, according to early federal data—a one-year spike that amounts to a bigger jump than over the previous four years combined, showing an already troubling crisis accelerating.

For every 100,000 residents, almost 20 died in drug overdoses in 2016, compared to 16.3 the year before, according to the data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.