Fentanyl Surpasses Heroin As Deadliest Drug In The US
Fentanyl Surpasses Heroin As Deadliest Drug In The US
123RFFentanyl is now the most commonly used drug involved in drug overdoses in the US
15 December, 2018, 03:33
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report today that says fentanyl has become the deadliest drug in the nation, overtaking heroin.
A National Vital Statistics Reports study analyzing information from 2011 through 2016 found that Fentanyl ranked first in overdose deaths in 2016, outdistancing heroin which was the deadliest drug from 2012 to 2015.
"The top 10 drugs involved in overdose deaths remained consistent throughout the 6-year period, the report says".
In the same six-year time frame, cocaine was consistently the second or third most commonly used drug, and the rate of overdose deaths involving methamphetamines tripled. On average, the US death rate involving fentanyl increased about 113 percent per year from 2013 to 2016.
Much of the emphasis of the drug overdose crisis has been on opioids, but there has also been an increase in the rates and numbers of cocaine- and methamphetamine-related deaths. Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids were involved in almost 30,000 overdoses a year ago, out of a total of about 70,000, according to federal estimates.
Many of these deaths involve more than one drug, Hedegaard said.
The study said that illegal drugs such as fentanyl and heroin were the primary causes of unintentional overdoses, while prescription drugs such as oxycodone tended to be used in suicide overdoses.
The authors of the new study also found that most overdoses involved more than one drug. For instance, about 40 percent of cocaine deaths also involved fentanyl. In 2011, fentanyl was involved in just 4% of all drug fatalities.
The findings are reflected in the most recent overdose death statistics from Trumbull County. A study published earlier this year found that the USA has been undercounting opioid-related deaths by 20 to 35 percent, due to varying standards between states and counties for investigating and reporting overdose deaths. It's hard to know how people get these drugs, because that data is not on death certificates, she said. Coroners and medical examiners often don't state exactly which drugs contributed to a death on a death certificate.
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