Overdose deaths surpassed breast cancer deaths by more than a thousand lost lives.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opioids killed more people than breast cancer last year. Of the 63,000 fatal drug overdoses most of them were opioid-related.
Jeremiah Jackson, a treatment consultant at American Addiction Centers in Brentwood is not surprised by the statement.
"It definitely doesn't surprise me that death toll is so high because of the opiates because it escalates. You start building a tolerance and it becomes worse and worse for you," Jackson said.
Jackson, a former addict, said he last used an opioid drug on September 14, 2013. He said he'll never forget that day when he checked into rehab.
"My close group of friends, people are starting to get arrested and I didn't want to go down that way. I can see that my family was starting to back off of me and I needed my family support. I didn't want to die," he said.
At the center, he listens to others and offers suggestions about beating opioid addictions.
"I can be real with them and say look this is the only way to get yourself moving in the right direction. You got to get help," he explained.
Jackson said the best way to prevent the addiction is to learn about it. There is help out there.
"The opioid epidemic is huge but the one thing I like about what's going on is that people are starting to realize that this is extremely serious," he said.
Jackson is working working to become a counselor.
He said he hopes to put a stop to these deadly statistics spiraling out of hand.
If you or someone you know is dealing with a drug addiction call the American Addiction Centers 24-7 hotline at 1-888-985-2217.