Deaths from the synthetic opioid fentanyl skyrocketed more than 1,000 percent from 2011 to 2016, according to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study found that in 2011 fentanyl was involved in 1,600 deaths, but by 2016, fentanyl-related deaths had jumped to 18,335.
Researchers analyzed death certificate information that included mentions of fentanyl and fentanyl analogs. Previous analysis had not looked specifically only at fentanyl, but overall synthetic opioids, CNN Reported.
Beginning in 2014, though, fentanyl-related deaths began to double each year. In 2014, fentanyl was involved in 4,223 deaths. In 2015, it was 8,251 deaths
The report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also analyzed who had been hardest hit by the fentanyl epidemic.
The researchers– who are part of the National Center for Health Statistics– found that while men and women had similar rates of fentanyl-related deaths from 2011 through 2013, by 2016, the rate of men dying from fentanyl overdoses was nearly three times that of women.
And while there were increases in fentanyl-related fatalities in all age groups, the largest rate increases were among younger adults between the ages of 15 and 34. The rate of 15- to 24-year-olds who died from fentanyl overdoses increased about 94 percent each year between 2011 and 2016, and about 100 percent each year for 25- to 34-year-olds.
Researchers also found that while whites had the highest overall rates of fentanyl fatalities, death rates among blacks and Hispanics were growing faster.
Between 2011 and 2016, blacks had fentanyl death rates increase 140.6 percent annually and Hispanics had an increase of 118.3 percent annually.
A full copy of the report can be found here.