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More People Dying from Overdoses than Car Accidents

The Attorney General of Wisconsin, Brad Schimel, made a statement that more people in Wisconsin die each year from drug overdoses than car accidents.

According to a report provided by the Department of Justice, deaths from overdoses have doubled since 2004 and exceeded the amount of automobile deaths in 2008. This report refers to age-adjusted death rates. This is commonly used to make comparisons across years because the age demographics of the population change.

A chart provided by the Department of Justice displayed that in 1999, 4 out of every 100,000 people died from drug overdoses compared to 2013 where the chart displayed that 16 out of every 100,000 people died from drug overdoses. The chart also displayed automobile accident fatalities. In 1999, 13 out of every 100,000 people died from car accidents whereas in 2013, 9 out of every 100,000 people died from car accidents.

According to the Department of Health Service, 2009 was the first year that the number of deaths from drug overdoses was greater than the number of deaths from car accidents in Wisconsin. In 2014, 843 people died of drug overdoses and 558 died in automobile accidents in Wisconsin. Ever since 2009, deaths from drug overdoses have outnumbered deaths from car accidents in Wisconsin.

What can we do to help reduce the death rates from both drug overdoses and car accidents in Wisconsin?

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