America has the highest rate of death by drugs in North America — and the world

Opioids are the biggest problem

America has the highest drug-death rate in North America and the world. "A problem in many countries, the harm caused by opioids is particularly evident in the United States of America," the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) concludes in its latest report.

Mostly driven by opioids, overdose deaths in the United States have more than tripled during the period 1999 to 2015, from 16,800 to 52,400 a year. This comes down to a rate of 245.8 deaths per million people aged 15 to 64. According to the UNODC data, the U.S. accounts for approximately a quarter of the estimated number of drug-related deaths worldwide.

One of the most dangerous opioids is a derivate of prescription medicines called fentanyl, causing fatal overdoses among opioid users. More people die from the misuse of drugs in the United States than from road traffic accidents. There were approximately 35,000 motor-vehicle deaths in 2015.

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