US CDC published a report on Friday stating that fentanyl that’s manufactured illegally caused 45.2% rise in deaths related to synthetic opioids between 2016 and 2017. Out of 70,237 deaths, opioids caused 47,600 or 67.8%. 28,466 or 59.8% out of those were because of synthetic opioids. This epidemic of opioid overdose is getting worse, say authors of the study. The study reviewed deaths from drug overdose between 2013 and 2017. In DC and 35 out of 50 states, death toll had increased significantly due to drug overdose, and in 15 out of 20 states, deaths from synthetic opioids use had increased as well, said CDC. Another CDC report published in early December showed that fentanyl overdose caused more deaths than heroin in 2016. Geographic and demographic data from 2016 to 2017 was also compared in the most recent study. New Hampshire, Ohio and West Virginia were seen to record maximum number of mortalities from synthetic opioids overdose in 2017. Other states like Washington, Texas, Oregon, Missouri, Minnesota, Colorado, California and Arizona also recorded increased mortality rate from synthetic opioids use. The highest increase of 122.2% was in Arizona. North Carolina came a close second with 112.9% rise in deaths, followed by Oregon with an increase of 90.9%.
Black people accounted for maximum number of deaths with a change of 25.2%. People aged between 24 and 44 saw the greatest increase while those aged 65 and above saw a 17.2% change between 2016 and 2017. Apart from synthetic opioids, increased deaths occurred due to cocaine (over 34%) and psycho-stimulants (over 33%). overdose deaths due to heroin and prescription opioids however remained stable between 2016 and 2017. In spite of the morbid findings, the authors of the study also said that initial data collected from this year indicates a potential improvement in the disturbing scenario. Confirmation however shall be achieved when the final analysis is done.