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Leftover pills help fuel opioid epidemic: what we can do to reduce misused painkillers

Deterra Advisory Council Members urge the public to clean out their medicine cabinets in USA Today op-ed

In 2017, the last full year for which drug overdose mortality statistics are available, our country lost more than 70,000 souls — almost 200 every day — to an avoidable fate. That’s almost 35% higher than in 2015, when we last wrote about the subject together in USA TODAY.


Who are these victims? Many are young adults: In recent years, opioid-related fatalities have accounted for one in every five deaths of Americans age 25 to 34, according to a study published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).