Since 2013, the US has lost more lives to drug overdoses than WWI and WWII combined

Drug overdoses claimed more lives in the U.S. than firearms for the first time ever this year, CBS reports.

It's evident that this epidemic has gotten out of control — in 2016 alone, 50,000 Americans died from overdoses, while 20.5 million were addicted to drugs.

Over the course of modern American history, more people who have died from drug use than during wars, motor vehicle accidents and disease.

Based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's WONDER, created a graph to demonstrate just how extreme those numbers are:


According to the CDC, opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone are to blame for this shift. In 2014, over 60 percent of drug overdose deaths — about 30,000 — were due to opioid abuse.

Use of these highly-addictive drugs can often lead to heroin abuse, since the latter is less expensive than prescription medication.

Between 1999 and 2002, total drug overdose deaths eclipsed the number of lives lost by the U.S. in the Vietnam War, which was a staggering 47,000. We now lose that many Americans to drug overdoses on a yearly basis.

Since 2013, the US has lost more lives to drug overdoses than in WWI and WWII combined.


At this rate, drug overdose rates will surpass the number of casualties across major U.S. wars by 2021. That means that between 1999 and 2021, just 20 years, overdose deaths will exceed the number of battle casualties in over a 200-year span.

It's clear that the biggest battle has yet to be fought.


Read more about drugs:

Close up, microscopic photos of notable drugs
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Close up, microscopic photos of notable drugs

Cross section of dried marijuana petiole, stained with toluidine blue and illuminated using darkfield microscopy. Magnified 40x.

(Photo via Getty Images)

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) image of heroin (diamorphine). Heroin is a powerful narcotic and painkiller that is derived from morphine. Its use in medicine is restricted because it is highly addictive after only a short period of use. Heroin is abuse

(Photo by Edward Kinsman via Getty Images)

Scanning Electron Microscope (sem) image of crack cocaine. The calibration bar is 20 um and the magnification is 284x.

(Photo by Edward Kinsman via Getty Images)

98% Pure Meth 

(Photo via Getty Images)

Stock photo of a pile of spice. This is a synthetic cannabinoid that is legal in some US states, illegal in others. Commonly used by marijuana smokers as a replacement drug.

(Photo by Darren Mower via Getty Images)

Polarised light micrograph of aspirin.

(Photo by Images Etc Ltd via Getty Images)

Transmission Electron Micrograph (TEM) of Acetaminophen (Tylenol) crystals. Magnification 7x at 35mm.

(Photo by MICHAEL W DAVIDSON via Getty Images)


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