Overdoses now leading cause of death of Americans under 50

CLEVELAND, Ohio (CBS) -- Overdoses are now the leading cause of death of Americans under the age of 50.

According to preliminary data compiled by The New York Times, deaths last year likely topped 59,000 -- 19 percent more than the year before. 

In Ohio, they were up even more.

On May 26, Cleveland Police Sgt. Timothy Maffo-Judd's body camera was running as he approached a man slumped in his car. It turned out that the man was minutes from a fatal drug overdose.

Three applications of Narcan -- the anti-overdose drug -- and the victim finally started coming around.

Maffo-Judd says it's become a grim routine, and he's even encountered the same person twice. "That's pretty common," he says.

There were 11 overdoses on Monday night alone in Cleveland -- two of them were fatal.

In Ohio, at least 4,100 people died from unintentional drug overdoses last year -- a 36 percent increase from 2015, when the state led the nation in overdose deaths.

Kentucky, West Virginia and New Hampshire have also experienced shocking increases, along with the East Coast.

Most of it is tied to heroin or prescription painkillers, often laced with a powerful synthetic opioid known as fentanyl.

MORE: Read the full story at CBSNEWS.com

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