The House gave unanimous first-round approval to the bill Thursday.
"The continuing rise in death rates related to heroin use and synthetic opioids is of great concern", said Dr. Larissa Mooney, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles, and director of the university's Addiction Medicine Clinic. Lakin is a physician who introduced the bill in committee. In the firearm department, the number of deaths was 36,000, meaning 16,000 deaths less than the ones produced by drug overdoses.
For females, the rate increased from 3.9 per 100,000 in 1999 to 11.8 in 2015, an overall average increase of 6% per year. For context, in December, an analysis of CDC data by The Washington Post found the number of heroin-related deaths now exceeds gun homicides.
The study found that overdose rates rose for Hispanic people and non-Hispanic black people and at an average rate of two percent per year.
Other opioids - both synthetic and natural - such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin) accounted for another 24 percent of overdose deaths in 2015, down from 29 percent in 2010.
"If addicts can't access prescription drugs, they turn to heroin and fentanyl and someone using those drugs has no idea what they are getting when they buy it, so the likelihood of an overdose increases dramatically", she said. And the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths among non-Hispanic white Americans was almost 3.5 times the rate in 1999.
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Opioid-related overdoses deaths represent the majority of cases according to the study, as it is the 60 percent of all the demises caused by drug excesses.
The number of deadly heroin overdoses in the United States more than quadrupled from 2010 to 2015, a federal agency said on Friday, as the price of the drug dropped and its potency increased. When looking at age groups, the biggest increase was found in adults aged 55-64, which saw a five-fold increase, from 4.2 percent in 1999 to 21.8 percent in 2015.
Overdose deaths hit middle-aged and white people the hardest, according to USA Today.
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Slovis said some illicit synthetic opioids can be 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin.
After the release of the worrying numbers of deaths caused by drug overdoses, political figures around the country have started to apply a substantial number of laws and regulations to stop this problem as soon as possible.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has listed a number of fentanyl variations or analogues as schedule I, drugs that have "no now accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse".
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