Study: Lowering prescription opioid misuse won't stop the opioid crisis

Jars of heroin and fentanyl
Vials of heroin and fentanyl. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Reducing prescription opioid misuse will only moderately lower the number of opioid overdose deaths over the next few years, a new report in the Journal of the American Medical Association found.

By the numbers: The study projected that under the status quo, opioid overdose deaths would rise from 33,100 in 2015 to 81,700 in 2025. Between 2016 and 2025, 700,400 people will die from an opioid overdose, it estimates, and 80% of these deaths will be attributable to illicit opioids.

Border officials notch record-breaking fentanyl bust

Danger: Fentanyl signs on a bag of fentanyl.
Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials announced Thursday that they captured about 254 pounds of fentanyl, the agency's largest bust of the drug in history, from a hidden compartment in a tractor-trailer at an Arizona port of entry on the U.S.-Mexico border, reports the AP.

The big picture: One of President Trump's claims to support his assertion that a wall needs to be built along the border is an increase in drug trafficking, but most drugs — like this bust — cross the border at legal points of entry, according to USA Today. Fentanyl, a powerful, synthetic opioid, was the drug responsible for the most overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2016, according to a recent CDC report.

Go deeper ... The border's deadliest threat: opioids

More stories loading.