Cocaine deaths up in US, and opioids are a big part of it

Cocaine deaths up in US, and opioids are a big part of it
In this 1989 file photo, a razor blade is used to divide the contents of a five-dollar vile of crack, a smokable, purified form of cocaine, at a crack house in the South Bronx section of New York. Cocaine deaths have been rising, health officials said Thursday, May 2, 2019, in their latest report on the nation's drug overdose epidemic. After several years of decline, overdose deaths involving cocaine began rising in 2013. And they jumped by more than a third between 2016 and 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

U.S. health officials say cocaine overdose deaths have been rising.

Drug overdose deaths involving cocaine began rising around 2012, and jumped 34 percent between 2016 and 2017.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the report Thursday.

The increase at least partly reflects trends in deaths from heroin, fentanyl and other opioid drugs. Many overdose deaths involve someone who took several different drugs, and researchers found that nearly three-quarters of the deaths involving cocaine in 2017 also involved opioids.

However, the study found cocaine deaths were up even when opioids were not involved.

Health officials say about 70,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2017. Nearly 14,000 of involved . Nearly 48,000 involved some type of opioid.

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