Fentanyl in more than half of opioid deaths in 10 states

October 27, 2017 by Mike Stobbe

A federal report says the powerful painkiller fentanyl was involved in more than half of the recent opioid overdose deaths in 10 states.

The report released Friday is the latest to show how is helping to make the nation's current drug epidemic the deadliest in U.S. history.

Most of the 64,000 U.S. last year involved opioids, which include and painkillers such as Vicodin and Percocet. About 56 percent of opioid deaths in the 10 states studied involved fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a far more potent opioid than heroin. It was developed to treat intense pain like that in people suffering through the final stages of cancer, but it is being increasingly sold illicitly and mixed with heroin by dealers because it is cheaper.

Explore further: Fentanyl drives rise in opioid-linked deaths in U.S.

Related Stories

Fentanyl drives rise in opioid-linked deaths in U.S.

August 31, 2017
(HealthDay)—Fentanyl, a synthetic narcotic, is a key player in America's continuing epidemic of opioid-related overdose deaths, two new studies report.

Painkillers, heroin drive increase in US overdose deaths

December 10, 2015
Drug overdoses rose again last year, driven by surges in deaths from heroin and powerful prescription painkillers, according to new federal statistics.

More Australians dying of accidental overdose of pharmaceutical opioids

July 24, 2017
In a reversal of the heroin epidemic of the late 90s and early 2000s, older Australians aged 35 to 54 are now more likely to die from an opioid overdose, a new report reveals.

'Unprecedented' overdose epidemic from fentanyl in US

August 25, 2016
Painkillers containing illegally made fentanyl, a synthetic drug up to 100 times more potent than morphine, are responsible for a surge in overdose deaths in the United States, health authorities said Thursday.

Trump poised to declare opioid crisis a national emergency

October 26, 2017
President Donald Trump is poised to meet with top advisers and officially declare the opioid crisis in the United States a "national emergency," he said on Wednesday.

US drug overdose deaths soar in 2016: report

June 6, 2017
US drug overdose deaths surged 19 percent to at least 59,000 last year as deadly manufactured drugs like fentanyl intensified a national opioid addiction crisis, New York Times data showed Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Drug for spinal muscular atrophy prompts ethical dilemmas, bioethicists say

December 11, 2017
When the Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug for people with spinal muscular atrophy a year ago, clinicians finally had hope for improving the lives of patients with the rare debilitating muscular disease. ...

FDA's program to speed up drug approval shaved nearly a year off the process

December 7, 2017
Speeding the pace at which potentially lifesaving drugs are brought to market was a rallying cry for Donald Trump as a candidate, and is a stated priority of his Food and Drug Administration commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb. ...

Dangers of commonly prescribed painkillers highlighted in study

December 6, 2017
Commonly prescribed painkillers need to be given for shorter periods of time to reduce the risk of obesity and sleep deprivation, a new study has revealed.

Viagra goes generic: Pfizer to launch own little white pill

December 6, 2017
The little blue pill that's helped millions of men in the bedroom is turning white. Drugmaker Pfizer is launching its own cheaper generic version of Viagra rather than lose most sales when the impotence pill gets its first ...

Surgery-related opioid doses can drop dramatically without affecting patients' pain

December 6, 2017
Some surgeons might be able to prescribe a third of opioid painkiller pills that they currently give patients, and not affect their level of post-surgery pain control, a new study suggests.

Four-fold jump in deaths in opioid-driven hospitalizations

December 4, 2017
People who end up in the hospital due to an opioid-related condition are four times more likely to die now than they were in 2000, according to research led by Harvard Medical School and published in the December issue of ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

BendBob
not rated yet Oct 27, 2017
The current Scientific American has a nice piece on why Europe has significantly different results for the same problems. Essentially, being able to take what you bought to have it tested, without fear of arrest with potential incarceration. The article has other points worth stopping by the library to read.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.