Fentanyl Is the Most Deadly Drug in America, CDC Confirms

The state health department has started handing out fentanyl test strips that people can use to test their drugs -- heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine -- for fentanyl. Fentanyl is the mostly deadly drug in America, the CDC said. (Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

December 13, 2018

By Nancy Dillon

It’s official: Fentanyl now ranks as the most deadly drug in America, health officials said Wednesday.

The synthetic opioid that’s up to 50 times more powerful than heroin was responsible for 18,335 overdose deaths in 2016, more than any other drug, the National Center for Health Statistics said in a new report.

By comparison, heroin, the drug that previously held the No. 1 spot, caused 15,961 overdose deaths in 2016, the most recent year included in the new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Officials said fentanyl deaths skyrocketed over the five-year period included in the new report that analyzed death certificates.

Fentanyl was mentioned in the death records of approximately 1,600 people in 2011 and 2012. That number hovered around 1,919 in 2013, then more than doubled to 4,223 in 2014 and jumped again to 8,251 in 2015, the new report said.

The drug has been linked to many high-profile fatalities, including the accidental overdose deaths of Prince, Tom Petty, former Wilco band member Jay Bennett and rappers Lil Peep and Mac Miller.

Overall, drug overdose deaths have spiked during the last decade, researchers found.

From 2011 through 2016, the number of drug overdose deaths increased by 54 percent in the U.S., from 41,340 deaths in 2011 to 63,632 deaths in 2016, according to the report.

Oxycodone ranked as the deadliest drug in 2011. It was replaced by heroin from 2012 to 2015.

The new report found 29 percent of all overdose deaths in 2016 involved fentanyl.

Throughout the study period, cocaine ranked second or third among the top 15 deadliest drugs.

From 2014 through 2016, the number of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine nearly doubled from 5,892 to 11,316.

The report also found that approximately 70 percent of drug overdose deaths linked to fentanyl or heroin involved at least one other specific drug.

———

©2018 New York Daily News

Visit New York Daily News at www.nydailynews.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Health

Under New Rule, Hospitals Will Have to Share Information on Pricing
Under New Rule, Hospitals Will Have to Share Information on Pricing

Hospitals will soon have to share price information they have long kept obscured — including how big a discount they offer cash-paying patients and rates negotiated with insurers — under a rule finalized Friday by the Trump administration. In a companion proposal, the administration announced it... Read More

Senators Express Frustration with FDA for Slow Response to Vaping Hazards U.S. Senate
Senators Express Frustration with FDA for Slow Response to Vaping Hazards
November 15, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A Food and Drug Administration official told a U.S. Senate committee this week that new regulations to control vaping are likely coming soon, but couldn’t say when. His testimony drew rebukes and words of frustration from members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and... Read More

Sit, Heal: Dog Teaches Military Medical Students the Merits of Service Animals Mental Health
Sit, Heal: Dog Teaches Military Medical Students the Merits of Service Animals

The newest faculty member at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences has a great smile — and a wagging tail. Shetland, not quite 2 years old, is half golden retriever, half Labrador retriever. As of this fall, he is also a lieutenant commander in... Read More

The Politics of Medicaid Expansion Have Changed Health
The Politics of Medicaid Expansion Have Changed

WASHINGTON — Year by year, resistance to extending Medicaid to more low-income Americans in conservative states has given way. That trend seems likely to continue into 2020. In some states, Democratic governors who favor expansion have replaced Republicans who were stalwart opponents. GOP critics have had... Read More

As Congress Works to Curb Surprise Medical Bills, New York’s Fix Gets Examined Health
As Congress Works to Curb Surprise Medical Bills, New York’s Fix Gets Examined

Lobbying campaigns and legislative battles have been underway for months as Congress tries to solve the problem of surprise billing, when patients face often exorbitant costs after they unknowingly receive care from an out-of-network doctor or hospital. As Congress considers various plans and negotiates behind the... Read More

For Young People With Psychosis, Early Intervention Is Crucial Mental Health
For Young People With Psychosis, Early Intervention Is Crucial

Andrew Echeguren, 26, had his first psychotic episode when he was 15. He was working as an assistant coach at a summer soccer camp for kids when the lyrics coming out of his iPod suddenly morphed into racist and homophobic slurs, telling him to harm others... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top