Fentanyl Is Now The Leading Cause Of US Overdose Deaths

October 10, 2017
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October 10, 2017

Fentanyl Is Now The Leading Cause Of US Overdose Deaths

Deadly doses of heroin in comparison with 'artificial' opioids.

New Hampshire State Police Forensic Lab

Fentanyl and different artificial opioid painkillers at the moment are the main reason for overdose deaths nationwide, killing greater than 21,000 folks final yr, in keeping with provisional CDC data.

“Surprising numbers,” epidemiologist Daniel Ciccarone of the College of California, San Francisco Faculty of Medication advised BuzzFeed Information. “I see solely rising issues in my discipline work,” he added, with fentanyl turning into the brand new regular for heroin consumers in locations like Chicago and Charleston, West Virginia.

The US is within the midst of an epidemic of drug overdose deaths, with practically 65,000 folks killed by heroin, cocaine, and prescription painkillers in 2016, a 21% leap from a yr earlier. That rise was first reported by Mom Jones in September.

Beneath the overall enhance is the surge in deaths dues to fentanyl and associated artificial opioids, extra highly effective kin of heroin and morphine. Extensively tainting the illicit drug provide of heroin and counterfeit ache tablets, these synthetic opioids doubled their share of earlier yr's already alarming overdose toll, in keeping with the brand new information, which is provisional, with closing mortality figures anticipated in December.

Artificial opioids grew to become the main reason for US overdose deaths in 2016.

CDC/NCHS / By way of cdc.gov

The rise is outstanding as a result of fentanyl solely arrived within the illicit drug provide in a noticeable manner round 2012, and has now raced forward of medicine often answerable for overdose deaths. Fentanyl is roughly 50 occasions stronger than morphine and about 10 occasions stronger than heroin.

The dying of Prince in April of 2016 resulted from a fentanyl overdose, reportedly from counterfeit ache tablets present in his possession. Carfentanil, an much more potent relative of fentanyl, has been linked to mass outbreaks of deadly overdoses nationwide. Analysis by Ciccarone and colleagues has suggested that their hyperlink to overdoses comes not from the efficiency of the these medication in of itself, however fairly the sharp adjustments in efficiency they introduce into illicit drug markets.

General, opioid overdose deaths quadrupled from eight,050 in 1991 to 33,091 in 2015, in keeping with the CDC. Heroin deaths quadrupled from three,036 in 2010 to 12,989 in 2015, driven by a pointy enhance within the heroin provide. Now fentanyl is creating a 3rd wave of overdose deaths, as these first two waves have steadied to every kill round 15,000 folks a yr.

LINK: This Man Lost His Memory After An Overdose, And Doctors Don’t Know Why

LINK: This Drug Is Cheaper And More Powerful Than Heroin — And May Be Killing Way More People

LINK: On The Front Lines Of The Overdose Epidemic In Baltimore

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