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mind boggling." the opioid epidemic continues to grow in the u-s. opioid drug overdose deaths have already caused the life expectancy rate to go down. now.. americans are more likley to die of a drug overdose than other accidental causes. news 10's jada huddlestun breaks down why that is. for the first time ever.. americans are now more likley to die of an opioid drug overdose than a car accident. in fact.. your chances of dying in a car crash are one in 103. your chances of dying of a drug over dose are one in 96. that's according to the national safety council. i spoke with forensic pathologist dr. roland kohr at regional hopsital today. he says he's seen this trend growing over the years. < dr. roland kohr has been in this field for nearly 30 years. he says for him... seeing more deaths from drug overdoses compared to car accidents doesn't come as a surprise. "there will always be a certain background level of accidental deaths because of motor vehicles, because of industrial situations drownings in the summer. while those things are staying pretty well steady and not significantly changing again what we're seeing is a major shift in is drug over doses." kohr says annually.. he deals with fewer deaths related to car accidents than overdoses. "the last four or five years the most common accidental death we're classifying is drug realted. we see maybe one or two motor vehicle accidents a month." but the latest numbers do come as a shock to some local officials. that includes deputy jason bobitt of the sullivan county sheriff's office. he says this new report should grab the attention of the public. "we have a problem. there's an addiction with opioids that is continuing to grow and we need to try and grasp ahold of it." whether it's a surprise or not... many can agree the drug epedemic needs addressed. "over the last five years and maybe going back ten, drug overdoses whether it be opiates, methamphetamines things of that type have just been skyrocketing. > kohr says part of the reason traffic related deaths are going down is because of better vehicle safety features like airbags and seatbelts. the report still has heart disease and cancer related deaths at the top of the list.