U.S. Opioid Crisis Deadlier Than Global Terrorism in 2017, Say Feds

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Drug overdoses, primarily driven by opioids like fentanyl and heroin, killed an unprecedented 72,287 people in the United States in 2017–proving to be more lethal than terrorist attacks across the world during the same period, a Breitbart News analysis of U.S. government data shows.

According to a federal government-affiliated report—the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) — around 10,900 worldwide terrorist attacks primarily carried out by Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) jihadis killed 26,400 people last year.

The 2017 terror fatalities amount to about one third the number of fatal drug overdoses in the United States during the same period.

Preliminary U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data reveal that opioids alone–primarily synthetic fentanyl–killed more people (about 49,000) than terrorist attacks across the globe last year.

The ongoing opioid epidemic gripping the United States continued to fuel the historic number of fatal drug overdoses last year.

On Wednesday, the CDC predicted that 72,287 people died from overdoses in 2017, an increase of more than 10 percent from the historic figure (63,632) in 2016.

Drugs killed nearly 200 people per day last year, on average.

CDC officials determined the more than 72,000 killed by drugs last year established a new record driven mainly by the opioid epidemic.

Opioids–both natural like heroin and synthetic like fentanyl—are again behind the vast majority of overdose deaths (49,060) this year, exceeding the number of similar fatalities last year.

In 2017, opioids killed an average of 135 each day.

Deaths linked to dangerous synthetic opioids (29,418) like fentanyl outnumbered those caused by heroin (15,950) and other drugs like cocaine (14,614).

U.S. authorities determined China to be the primary source of fentanyl in the United States.

Most illicit drugs in the United States, including heroin and cocaine, are reportedly trafficked illegally from Latin America across the U.S.-Mexico Border.

In its latest National Drug Threat Assessment, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) deemed Mexican Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) to be “the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States.”

“No other group is currently positioned to challenge them,” it added. “These TCOs maintain territorial influence over large regions in Mexico used for the cultivation, production, importation, and transportation of illicit drugs.”

China’s neighbor Afghanistan, the world’s top supplier of opium and heroin, has also contributed to the growing epidemic in the United States, a recent Politico investigation revealed.

The DEA acknowledged that while heroin and cocaine primarily originate from Latin America, fentanyl is smuggled into the United States from China, reporting last year:

Opium poppy cultivation and heroin production in Mexico, believed to be the primary source of heroin for the U.S. market, have continued to surge, providing traffickers a steady stream of high-purity, low-cost heroin to market throughout the United States…Illicit fentanyl and other synthetic opioids — primarily sourced from China and Mexico and shipped directly to the United States or trafficked overland via Mexico and Canada — are contributing factors in the current synthetic opioid overdose epidemic.

Colombia remains the world’s top cocaine supplier, the DEA reported.

President Donald Trump’s administration deemed the opioid overdose epidemic a homeland security threat and a national public health emergency.

United Press International (UPI) reported:

President Donald Trump has declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency, but stopped short last year of declaring a state of emergency that would’ve given states access to funding from the federal Disaster Relief Fund. In fiscal 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services spent $900 million in opioid-specific efforts, some of which went toward support and recovery services and training first responders. Trump has also set up a presidential council to address the problem.

“The CDC noted, however, that the preliminary data is incomplete and likely underestimate the true number of deaths,” UPI added.

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