Image: Time Magazine

From CNN’s Maegan Vazquez

President Trump claimed “more Americans will die from drugs this year than were killed in the entire Vietnam War.”

President Trump speaks to the nation in his first-prime address from the Oval Office of the White House on January 8, 2019 in Washington, DC.(Photo by Carlos Barria/Pool/Getty Images)

Some 58,220 Americans died as a result of the Vietnam War. In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the number of total drug overdose deaths was 70,327.

Trump’s assertion is misleading: He is conflating the drugs coming across the US-Mexico border with total drug deaths in the US. In addition, it’s not currently known whether overdose deaths will increase or decrease when the CDC releases 2018 data later this year.

Trump’s figures do not distinguish between deaths caused by drugs smuggled into the country versus those prescribed by US doctors.

The majority of hard narcotics seized by Customs and Border Protection come through ports of entry either in packages, cargo or with people who attempt to enter the US legally. The only drug that is smuggled in higher numbers between legal entry points is marijuana, according to information from Customs and Border Protection and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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