Fentanyl is the most frequently used drug involved in overdoses, beating out heroin as the deadliest drug in the United States.
According to a recent CDC report released on Wednesday, synthetic opioid fentanyl was linked to nearly 29 percent of all overdoses in 2016 – which means 18,000 people died due to fentanyl overdoses.
CDC’s report states that the rate of drug overdoses involving fentanyl rose by more than 100 percent each year between 2013 and 2016.
The report also says that other drugs were used in conjunction with the fentanyl deaths.
” The 10 most frequently mentioned drugs often were found in combination with each
other. The drugs most frequently mentioned varied by the intent of the drug overdose death. In 2016, the drugs most frequently mentioned in unintentional drug overdose deaths were fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine, while the drugs most frequently mentioned
in suicides by drug overdose were oxycodone, diphenhydramine, hydrocodone, and alprazolam.”
Between 2011 and 2016, heroin overdoses, an opioid, increased significantly -tripled- over the six years – the second deadliest drug in 2016 which contributed to almost 16,000 deaths or 25 percent of all overdoses.
During the same time frame, the CDC found that cocaine and methamphetamine-related deaths increased alongside the opioids mentioned in the study.
The study found illicit drugs like fentanyl and cocaine were the leading causes of accidental overdoses, and prescription drugs were more likely to be involved in suicidal overdoses.
Most of the overdoses studied involved more than one drug.
The top 10 drugs belonged to three drug classes:
• Opioids: fentanyl, heroin, hydrocodone, methadone, morphine, and oxycodone
• Benzodiazepines: alprazolam and diazepam
• Stimulants: cocaine and methamphetamine