Drug overdoses leading to death were at an all-time high in 2014, when drug overdose rate spiked 137 percent since 2000. That's one and a half times more deaths than those resulting from car accidents.
According to newly released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdose deaths rose from 2013 to 2014 for both men and women of all age groups 25 and older. The states where the death rate increased over the same period were Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The five states with the highest rates of drug overdose deaths were West Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Ohio.
More than 60 percent involved heroin or prescription narcotic painkillers. Heroin deaths have more than tripled in the past four years, and deaths from synthetic opioids almost doubled between 2013 and 2014, according to CDC data. Experts believe prescription opioid abuse is a factor that could lead to using heroin. Heroin is often cheaper and more available than opioids.