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Fentanyl now America's deadliest drug, federal health officials say
Doyle Rice, USA TODAY Published 10:21 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2018 | Updated 1:34 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2018
Fentanyl is now the deadliest drug in America, federal health officials announced Wednesday, with over 18,000 overdose deaths in 2016, the most recent year for which statistics are available.
It's the first time the synthetic opioid has been the nation's deadliest drug. For the previous four years (2012 to 2015), heroin topped the list.
On average, in each year from 2013 to 2016, the rate of overdose deaths from Fentanyl increased by about 113 percent per year. In fact, the report said that fentanyl was responsible for 29 percent of all overdose deaths in 2016, up from just 4 percent in 2011.
Overall, more than 63,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2016, according to the new report, which was prepared by the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is an average of 174 deaths per day.
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Publications from SAMSHA
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration
5600 Fishers Lane | Rockville, MD 20857
1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727) www.samhsa.gov
Tips for Teens fact sheets provide information about the effects of short- and long-term use of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and inhalants. These insightful and easy-to-read brochures provide important facts teens need to know, answer frequently asked questions, and help to dispel common myths about each of the substances covered.
Cocaine is a white powder that can be snorted or dissolved in water and injected to cause a brief high. Cocaine is highly addictive and affects both the brain and body. It can increase the risk of paranoia, anxiety, and psychosis and change emotions. Inventory#: PEP18-01
Tips for Teens: The Truth About Heroin
Heroin can be a white or dark brown powder or a black tar, and is often mixed with other substances that can make it even more dangerous. Heroin slows brain activity, heartbeat, and breathing, and is highly addictive. Inventory#: PEP18-02
Methamphetamine (meth) is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting, crystalline powder that dissolves easily in water or alcohol. It can be made from ingredients found in household products. Meth causes brain changes that affect impulse control and stress, making it harder to stop using meth. It also increases heart rate, blood pressure, and risk for stroke. Inventory#: PEP18-03
Inhalants are gases or fumes from everyday products that are inhaled or sniffed to cause an immediate high by cutting-off oxygen to the brain. Starving the body of oxygen forces the heart to beat rapidly or irregularly, or even stop. Use of inhalants also affects other parts of the body. Inventory#: PEP18-04.