Death rate in the United States on the rise

FILE - This Feb. 19, 2013 file photo shows OxyContin pills are arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. In a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in December 2015, drug overdoses in the U.S. rose again in 2014, driven by surges in deaths from heroin and powerful prescription painkillers such as Vicodin and Oxycontin. Overall, overdose deaths in the U.S. surpassed 47,000 — up 7 percent from 2013. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The death rate in the United States is now at its highest level in a decade. More and more people are dying of drugs overdoses across the country and here in our region.

More people are also dying from Alzhemier’s disease, suicide, and even homicide. All reasons why our death rate has gone up. So far in 2016, there have been at least 11 drug overdose deaths in Western Massachusetts.

Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan told 22News why a stronger heroin could be to blame. “We still haven’t peaked yet. There’s a lot of people are addicted to these drugs and they don’t see the high risk.”

Sullivan said that heroin mixed with the substance fetanyl is 50 times more powerful. “With Fetanyl being added to the heroin supply it’s never been more dangerous to be addicted to heroin.” Over 1,500 people died from drug overdoses in Massachusetts last year. That’s 150 more people than in 2014.

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