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CDC report reveals traces of fentanyl in over half of opioid overdose deaths
Posted in Addiction

The opioid crisis ravaging the United States just refuses to diminish. An examination of overdose deaths has now revealed fentanyl to be responsible for roughly 56 percent of recent opioid overdose deaths across 10 states in the country. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid drug, roughly 100 times more lethal than morphine and mixed with other drugs to lend a high.

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) revealed how the use of fentanyl resulted in approximately five times increased number of deaths in 2016 compared with figures in 2013. Authors of the report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested that products similar to fentanyl, including acetylfentanyl, furanylfentanyl and carfentanil, are increasingly responsible for overdose deaths. The findings are pursuant to examination of data on overdose deaths during the period from July to December 2016 in the 10 states that had responded to the CDC’s Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance (ESOOS) program. Other important findings of the report are:

  • Products with effects similar to that of fentanyl were found in an estimated 14 percent of overdose cases. Experts say the most frequently used drugs like carfentanil is around 10,000 times more powerful than morphine
  • The opioid analgesic drug identified as U-47700, which is considered 7.5 times more potent than morphine, was found in roughly 1 percent of cases of overdose deaths
  • More than half of the opioid overdose deaths involving the use of fentanyl or drugs similar to fentanyl also included use of other drugs like heroin and cocaine
  • In roughly one-fifth of the deaths involving fentanyl or its analogs, the researchers found no facts to prove injecting of the drugs in the body; snorting and absorbing the drug by swallowing it were the most common alternative ways

“In the near future, fentanyl analog overdose deaths might mirror the rapidly rising trajectory of fentanyl overdose deaths that began in 2013 and become a major factor in opioid overdose deaths,” said the authors. The data was collected and collated from the 10 states that had gathered information from preliminary death certificates and reports submitted by medical examiners on unintended and undecided opioid overdose deaths by making use of standard definitions for variables.

The details had been entered into the State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS), the part of ESOOS formed for tracing information about fatal opioid overdoses. For each death caused by opioid overdose, the available information concerning demographic features, factors of overdose cases accumulated from analyses of death scenes, for example, corroboration of use of illegal drugs, and the outcomes of forensic toxicology reports entered into SUDORS.

The report containing information about the opioid overdose deaths in the 10 states revealed how illicitly formulated fentanyl is responsible for surging opioid overdose deaths and the extent to which fentanyl analogs are increasingly causing a complex and complicated illegal opioid market with tremendous public health implications.

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Addiction is a serious problem. The problem worsens when people fail to realize that they have become dependent on drugs. Sovereign Health understands the plight of people seeking treatment for addiction, but unable to avail it. We make the treatment accessible and effective. Tailored recovery programs at our addiction treatment center in El Paso help treat each patient holistically. If you or your loved one is battling an addiction to any kind of drug, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online to know more about our state-of-the-art centers offering treatment for addiction.

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