OnPoint on WACH Fox: Fighting the opioid and heroin epidemic

COLUMBIA, SC (WACH ) - On this week's edition of on OnPoint on WACH we examine the fight against the opioid and heroin epidemic in South Carolina and across the country.

Drug deaths in America are rising faster than ever. New data compiled from hundreds of health agencies across the country shows the extent of of the problem in 2016. Last year, there were 59,000 drug overdose deaths. That's the largest annual jump ever recorded in the United States.

Experts say the rapidly rising death count is the result of the escalating opioid crisis. All evidence suggests the problem has continued to worsen so far in 2017.

According to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, opioid-related deaths across the state nearly tripled between 2013 - 2015, going from 237 deaths in 2013 to more than 600 in 2015.

Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 50.

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