Fentanyl overdose deaths rising in the US, CDC report finds

Overdose deaths involving illicitly manufactured fentanyls increased sharply from July 2019 to December 2020 in certain regions of the U.S., according to the CDC's Dec. 14 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Researchers used data from the CDC's State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System to evaluate trends in illicitly manufactured fentanyl, or IMF-involved, overdose deaths. Forty-eight jurisdictions participate in the CDC's overdose reporting system. 

Findings showed IMF-involved deaths rose by 33 percent in the Midwest, 65 percent in the South and nearly 94 percent in the West. About 4 in 10 of the deaths also involved a stimulant, and in 56 percent of the deaths, the person had no pulse when first responders arrived. 

The report also found 73 percent of IMF-involved deaths were among men. 

"Urgent action is needed to slow and reverse rapid increases in drug overdose deaths involving IMFs and other drugs," the report said. Researchers also suggested expanding prevention and response efforts, such as enhancing access to substance use disorder treatment, and expanding the distribution of naloxone to persons who use drugs and their friends and family. 

To read the full report, click here

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