CDC reports that law enforcement fentanyl encounters increased from less than 1,000 from 2010 to 2012 to nearly 14,000 in 2015.
Synthetic-opioid involved deaths increased nearly 80% from 2013 to 2014.
From 2013 to 2014, law enforcement encounters (drug submitted for analysis) testing positive for fentanyl sharply increased in a growing number of states, according to two new articles published today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Synthetic opioid-involved overdose deaths including fentanyl have also increased in multiple states. Recent investigations in Ohio and Florida provide strong evidence that increases in fentanyl deaths do not involve prescription fentanyl but are primarily related to illicitly-made fentanyl. Illicitly-made fentanyl is often mixed with or sold as heroin—with or without the users’ knowledge and increasingly distributed in counterfeit pills.
Key findings from 2013 to 2014:
In Florida and Ohio, both high burden states,
Law enforcement fentanyl encounters and fentanyl-involved overdose deaths increased significantly.
Why is this topic important?
The current fentanyl crisis continues to expand in size and scope across the United States.
The toxicity of fentanyl and possibility of rapid death, coupled with the extremely sharp one-year increase in synthetic opioid-involved overdose deaths including fentanyl, highlight the urgent need to understand the factors driving this increase.
Urgent public health action is needed to: