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In this April 5, 2019, file photo, containers depicting OxyContin prescription pill bottles lie on the ground in front of the Department of Health and Human Services' headquarters in Washington as protesters demonstrate against the FDA's opioid prescription drug approval practices. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

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U.S. overdose deaths last year likely fell for the first time in nearly three decades, preliminary statistics suggest. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday posted the provisional numbers showing nearly 68,000 drug overdose deaths were reported last year. The number may go up as more investigations are completed, but the agency expects the tally will end up below 69,000.

By MIKE STOBBE Associated Press July 17, 2019
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