U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths Hit 'Alarming' New Record: CDC

Drugs are prepared to shoot intravenously by a user addicted to heroin on February 6, 2014 in St. Johnsbury Vermont. File--Getty Images

Deaths from opioid drug overdoses have hit an all-time record in the U.S., rising 14 percent in just one year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.

More than 47,000 people died from these drug overdoses last year, the CDC reported.

"These findings indicate that the opioid overdose epidemic is worsening," the CDC's Rose Rudd and colleagues wrote in their report, NBC News reported.

"The opioid epidemic is devastating American families and communities. To curb these trends and save lives, we must help prevent addiction and provide support and treatment to those who suffer from opioid use disorders," said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.

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The CDC is embroiled in a big fight over how to do this. It proposed new draft guidelines this month that include using every other possible approach to managing pain before giving someone an opioid such as fentanyl or oxycontin to control pain.

More people die from drug overdoses, CDC says, than in road accidents. Just under 33,000 people died in traffic accidents last year.

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