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Fentanyl Deaths Soaring


According to the National Vital Statistics Reports, Volume 68, number 3, March 21, 2019; drug overdose deaths involving Fentanyl are soaring. In 2011 and 2012 about 1,600 deaths each year were attributed to fentanyl overdose. The number rose to 18,335 in 2016, according to the report. The numbers increased for all racial, sex, age and ethnic groups and this report sites increase in availability of the illicitly manufactured fentanyl from State analyses as contributing to the rise. Fentanyl was the ninth most frequently mentioned drug in overdose deaths in 2013 and rose to the most frequently mentioned drug in 2016. From 2013 to 2016 the rates increase by about 113% each year. In addition, the report states the rate for males was 2.8 times the rate for females in 2016. These statistics are alarming as fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid 80-100 times stronger than morphine which was developed for pain management and treatment of cancer.