CDC says drug overdose deaths have nearly tripled since 1999

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New numbers from the

Centers for Disease Control show drug overdose deaths in the U.S. have nearly tripled since 1999; increasing in all age groups particularly white and middle-aged Americans.

According to the CDC more than half of overdose deaths in 2015 were from heroin and other opioids.

Thursday Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed five bills to help fight the opioid crisis in Virginia. Early numbers from the Virginia Department of Health show 1,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016.

Treatment centers like Youth Challenge of Hampton Roads in Newport News, a Christian-based non-profit, say they've seen an increase in opiate-addicted patients in the last few years.

“We’ve had some that were living very productive lives and then had an injury and were prescribed pain medicine for the injury and ended up getting hooked and same cycle they turned to heroin," said Executive Director, Pastor Travis Hall. "It's a mess. It really is."

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