“Overdose deaths caused by synthetic opioids doubled from 2015 to 2016, overtaking prescription opioids to become the deadliest cause of accidental overdose fatalities tracked.
More than 63,000 people died of accidental drug overdoses in 2016, a 21 percent increase over 2015, according to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday.
Of those deaths, more than 30 percent in 2016 involved synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, a virulent narcotic that can be 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. While fentanyl can be prescribed by physicians to manage severe pain, non-pharmaceutical fentanyl – called illicitly manufactured fentanyl, or IMF – is frequently mixed with other street drugs unbeknownst to users and can be deadly in even tiny amounts.”
The CDC report Overdose Deaths Involving Opioids, Cocaine, and Psychostimulants — United States, 2015–2016 can be accessed at: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6712a1.htm?s_cid=mm6712a1_w
Source: USNews.com – March 30, 2018