It’s the season when we focus on the hope for peace on earth and good will towards men. Peace and good will can take a variety of forms. Certainly Americans need to find peace from whatever it is that leads to drug abuse and overdose by the thousands.

In fact more than 50-thousand Americans died from drug overdoses last year which is the most ever. The  tally has been pushed to new heights by soaring abuse of opioids such as heroin and certain prescription painkillers.

CBS News reports heroin deaths rose 23 percent in one year, to 12,989, which is higher than the number of gun homicides.

Deaths from synthetic opioids, including illicit fentanyl, rose 73 percent to 9,580. And prescription painkillers posted the smallest increase but still took the highest toll.  Abuse of drugs like Oxycontin and Vicodin killed 17,536, an increase of 4 percent.

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say "We've ever seen anything like this. Certainly not in modern times." The new numbers were part of the agency's annual tally of deaths and death rates in 2015.