The statistics around opioid overdose deaths are staggering, but a new study says the figures we have may not capture the full extent of the opioid crisis.

In a paper published in Public Health Reports, researchers find that as many as 70,000 opioid overdose deaths were unreported or misclassified between 1999 and 2015 because of the the way drug overdoses are coded on death certificates.

This may both downplay the severity of the epidemic and impede efforts to curtail it.

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