Opioid overdoses now deadlier than car crashes, researchers find

Opioid overdoses now deadlier than car crashes, researchers find
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Americans are now more likely to die from an opioid overdose than from a vehicle crash for the first time in history, according to a new report.

The National Safety Council released new data this week that found opioid overdoses are now the fifth most likely cause of death, with the odds of dying from an overdose at 1 in 96.

The odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash are 1 in 103.


The council cited an increased influx of the drug fentanyl in a statement on the data, according to NPR.

Fentanyl, a synthetic drug often trafficked on the black market from Mexico and Canada, is often combined with heroin or another drug, and has been repeatedly tied to the nationwide opioid crisis.

The Centers for Disease Control last month named fentanyl as the deadliest drug in the U.S., saying it was involved in nearly one-third of deadly overdoses in 2016.

U.S. life expectancy declined overall in 2017 due to an increase in drug overdoses and suicides. The National Safety Council data found that the chances of death by suicide are 1 in 88.

The most likely cause of death for Americans remains heart disease, with 1 in 6 odds, closely followed by cancer.