Combating the rise in opioid abuse

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Despite efforts to fight the opioid epidemic, deaths from drug overdoses reached an all-time high in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Deaths from overdoses of prescription drugs and heroin continue to be the leading cause of unintentional death for Americans, rising 14 percent from 2013 to 2014.

Last year, 47,055 people died from drug overdoses — 1.5 times greater than the number killed in-car crashes. Opioids are involved in 61 percent of all drug overdose deaths.

The latest CDC data finds that deaths from natural opiates such as morphine, codeine and semisynthetic prescription pain killers like oxycodone and hydrocodone jumped 10 percent from 2013 to 2014. Deaths from heroin overdoses rose 26 percent.

Dr. Dayne Laskey,  Assistant Professor, Clinical Toxicology at the University of Saint Joseph School of Pharmacy joined FOX 61 Good Day Connecticut to talk about the epidemic and what steps are being taken.