So we often hear from the media how firearm deaths are out of control and we need to crack down. Last night I happened to see a graphic flash across the screen of the number of opioid related deaths in 2015. The number of deaths from 2015 in the US, 33,091, seemed eerily familiar for some reason and a quick check indicated all firearm deaths in the US equal around 33,000 per year. Firearm deaths typically break down as 60% suicide and 40% homicide. Opioid deaths are almost always self-inflicted and unintentional. Around 1,000 people per year are found in time to be saved with naloxolone, but estimates say 2.1 million US citizens abuse opioids in one form or another. That is 2.1 million people just waiting to become part of the death statistic. Look at it another way, 2.1 million people are injured regularly due to opiates while non-fatal firearm injuries are ~70,000 per year. Drug abuse is illegal and firearms are highly regulated, but it seems our priorities are skewed. Many in American scream about firearms when they should be trying to solve our problem with opioid addiction and death. The numbers say that addition and the related deaths are potentially a much larger problem!

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