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DEA in Missouri reacts to CDC's report on life expectancy tied to drugs

DEA respond to CDC report

Editor's Note: This story originally aired Dec. 22, 2017

The DEA responded to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on drug overdoses on Friday.

On Thursday, ABC 17 News reported on the CDC's newly released report. In it, the CDC directly tied the United State's life expectancy rate's decrease to opioid overdoses.

"I was not surprised by it," supervisory special agent Todd Hixon said. "I think we've seen things trending in that direction."

Hixon told ABC 17 News that in Missouri the king of drugs is still meth, but heroin and opioid use are trailing close behind. However, Hixon said the overdose issue has changed over the years.

"It's more widespread, it's more common, and it's very focused on opioids," he said.

Another concern is fentanyl. It's the opioid 100 times more addictive than heroin.

"Now it's popping up everywhere. So yeah, there are very many things that are laced with fentanyl," said Hixon.

He also said every category of drugs the agency sees has been laced with fentanyl, which can be deadly after one dose. This even includes marijuana.

"It creates just that much more of a hazard for people that choose to use illicit drugs," Hixon said.  "That just makes it that much more dangerous. It's really like Russian roulet."

In 2016, nearly 64,000 Americans lost their lives to a drug overdose.


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