Drug overdose deaths more than doubled over the past decade, U.S. health officials announced in a report released Tuesday. Heroin-related deaths, in particular, more than tripled.
Deaths from drug poisoning linked to opioid analgesics (such as morphine, oxycodone and methadon) and heroin have jumped to 41,502 in 2012 from 16,849 back in 1999, according to the report compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heroin-related deaths grew to 5,925 in 2012 from 1,960 in 1999.
The report also stated that of the 2012 drug-related deaths, 16,007 involved opioid analgesics.
By comparison, there were 27,762 alcohol-related deaths in 2012, according to the report.
Another 40,600 people died from suicide, 36,415 from motor vehicle accidents, 33,563 from firearms and 16,688 from assaults. The biggest killer by far was heart disease at 599,711 deaths.
Between 1999 and 2012, the age-adjusted drug-poisoning death rate nationwide also increased, from 6.1 per 100,000 population in 1999 to 13.1 in 2012.
There were also 14 states that had age-adjusted drug-poisoning death rates above the national average, according to the report. The states with the highest rates per 100,000 population were West Virginia (32.0), Kentucky (25.0), New Mexico (24.7), Utah (23.1), and Nevada (21.0).
Click here to see the full report.