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Deadly trend: Fentanyl overdoses spike

Posted at 3:58 PM, Dec 12, 2018

Drug overdose deaths have skyrocketed in recent years, and a new report shines a harsh light on one incredibly dangerous drug, fentanyl.

The National Center for Health Statistics reports a staggering 113 percent increase in fentanyl-related deaths each year between 2013 and 2016.

Doctors are not surprised.

“Fentanyl is clearly the number one concern from a drug perspective to public health and to patient health,” says Dr. Michael Lynch, Pittsburgh Poison Center.

He says fentanyl’s powerful punch, plus its ability to mix with other drugs, make it incredibly hazardous.

“It can be sold as heroin or even pressed to look like pills, so people won’t even know that they’re using it, which just adds to the danger,” Lynch explains.

Drug dealers favor fentanyl because it’s cheap and greatly increases a drug’s potency.

Heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine were also among the deadliest drugs in the new report.

Overdose drug deaths hit a record high in 2017, killing more than 70,000 people.