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It's the deadliest drug in America, and its use is on the rise



And while there were increases in fentanyl-related fatalities in all age groups, the highest rate of increase was among young adults between the ages of 15 and 34. The rate of 15- to 24-year-olds who died of fentanyl overdoses increased about 94% each year between 2011 and 2016, and about 100% each year for 25- to 34-year-olds

Researchers also found that while the whites had the highest overall rates of fentanyl fatalities, death rates among blacks and Hispanics were growing faster. Between 2011 and 2016, blacks had a fentanyl death rate increase of 140.6% annually and Hispanics had an increase of 118.3% annually

A National Center for Health Statistics released in December found fentanyl to be the drug most commonly involved in overdose deaths. In 2016, the drug was responsible for nearly 29% of all drug overdose deaths, making it the most deadliest drug in America

Researchers analyzed the death certificate information that included the names of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues. Previous analysis has looked specifically at fentanyl but also at total synthetic opioids

Americans are now more likely to die from a drug overdose than a car accident. In 2017, drug overdoses killed more than 70,000 Americans, and opioids are the leading driver in US drug overdose deaths. Opioids have a class of drugs that includes illicit fentanyl and heroin, as well as commonly prescribed painkillers such as oxycodone and morphine


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