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Drug Deaths Outnumber Traffic Fatalities In 16 States: CDC

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Drugs now claim more lives than traffic crashes in 16 states, a new federal government report shows.

Traffic crashes remain the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, but drug-related deaths roughly doubled between the late 1990s and 2006, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Associated Press reported.

The number of states in which drug-related deaths outnumber traffic deaths has increased from eight in 2003, to 12 in 2005, and 16 in 2006 -- Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

The CDC said illicit drugs such as heroin and cocaine continue to be major killers, but prescription painkillers such as methadone have accounted for most of the increase in recent years, the AP reported.

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