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Here's how bad the opioid epidemic has gotten in America

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Based on the latest nationwide data, drug overdoses are the No. 1 cause of death among Americans under 50, according to a New York Times analysis from last month. The number of deaths may have risen by as much as 19 percent year over year, with an estimated 59,000 people dying in 2016 of drug overdoses.

Aaron Brower, founder of the National Addiction Foundation, joined Wednesday’s “The Glenn Beck Radio Program” to talk about his own experience as an addict and explain some of the factors behind why drug overdose deaths are rising.

“It is horrendous,” Glenn Beck said of addiction. He described his time of being addicted to opioids and how it’s easy to get trapped because you need them for pain and continue to need them both for pain and to feed the addiction.

“It is absolutely the No. 1 medical issue in America,” Brower said about the need to be aware of the opioid crisis. Pain medication is contributing to thousands of deaths even as doctors continue to over-prescribe pain medication to Americans.

In one example, Dr. Hsiu-Ying "Lisa" Tseng of Southern California was sentenced to life in prison last year after she was convicted of murder for recklessly giving out drug prescriptions. She was charged with second-degree murder after the overdose deaths of Joey Rovero, 21, Steven Ogle, 25, and Vu Nguyen, 28, according to a CNN report.

To see more from Glenn, visit his channel on TheBlaze and listen live to “The Glenn Beck Radio Program” with Glenn Beck, Pat Gray, Stu Burguiere and Jeffy Fisher weekdays 9 a.m.–noon ET on TheBlaze Radio Network.

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