Tags: fentanyl | drug deaths | heroin | nyt | opioid crisis | epidemic

NYT: Fentanyl No. 1 Cause of Drug Deaths in U.S.

Image: NYT: Fentanyl No. 1 Cause of Drug Deaths in U.S.

Posters comparing lethal amounts of heroin, fentanyl, and carfentanil. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

By    |   Saturday, 02 September 2017 10:23 PM

Deaths from the potent and highly addictive drug Fentanyl more than doubled from 2015 to 2016, overtaking heroin as the leading cause of drug deaths in the U.S., the New York Times reported Saturday. 

The Times' story was based on an August government report of nationwide drug deaths that showed a rise of more than 22 percent in deaths than recorded the previous year. Deaths from synthetic opioids rose to 21,405 in 216 compared to 9,945 the previous year. Heroin deaths climbed to 15,446 last year from 13,219 in 2015. 

Fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than heroin and two to three milligrams of the drug is enough to cause respiratory depression, cardiac arrest, and death, the Drug Enforcement Administration said. The opioid epidemic has hit certain cities hard, including Cook County, Ill., where there was a 2,700 percent increase in fatal fentanyl-related overdoses from 2014 to 2016. 

“If anything can be likened to a weapon of mass destruction in what it can do to a community, it’s fentanyl,” said Michael Ferguson, the special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New England division, recently told the Washington Post. “It’s manufactured death.”

Drug overdoses in 2016 accounted for about 64,000 deaths and the epidemic is killing people at a faster rate than the HIV epidemic when it was at its peak, reports the Times.  

The issue is strapping local and state organizations, and has resulted in the creation of a commission by President Donald Trump to study the crisis. 

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Deaths from the potent and highly addictive drug Fentanyl more than doubled from 2015 to 2016, overtaking heroin as the leading cause of drug deaths in the U.S., the New York Times reported Saturday.
fentanyl, drug deaths, heroin, nyt, opioid crisis, epidemic
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2017-23-02
Saturday, 02 September 2017 10:23 PM
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