The United States saw a surge of overdose deaths in 2018 caused by the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl, according to a preliminary analysis of death records by the United States Department of Health (USDH).
The number of synthetic opioid-involved deaths increased significantly from 2017 to 2018, according to the preliminary data. This increase is largely due to fentanyl-involved deaths; of the deaths that involved synthetic opioids, (91 percent) had fentanyl listed as contributing to the death on the death certificate.
“This dramatic increase shows that the opioid epidemic in U.S. has also become a fentanyl public health crisis,” said Franklin Square Recovery Detox. “This data confirms that Americans addicted to opioids may unknowingly be exposing themselves to far greater and more deadly risks than they know. It is more important than ever for us to support fellow Americans in their efforts to seek help and addiction treatment.”
The growing impact of fentanyl abuse is so great that it is outweighing progress in other of Fentanyl areas, such as decreases in prescription opioid and heroin deaths, resulting in a total 3 percent increase in deaths from 2017 to 2018, according to preliminary numbers. These numbers are subject to change as USDH researchers work further to confirm their accuracy.
Since 2000, commonly prescribed opioids have been involved in the greatest number of drug overdose deaths. The numbers of deaths has remained stable over the past five years. Since 2011, heroin deaths increased rapidly, but showed a preliminary 29 percent decrease from 2016 to 2017.
Data contained within this report are preliminary and likely to change when finalized. The results are indicative, not definitive, of the final 2018 drug overdose deaths. A final report is anticipated by early 2019.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
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