Fentanyl Responsible for 80% Of Overdose Deaths Under 24

Statista | June 27, 2023

Of the 296 million users of illegal drugs worldwide in 2021, 60 million were taking opioids like morphine, codeine or heroin. According to the latest United Nations World Drug Report, only cannabis usage is more prevalent albeit, of course, not really resulting in overdose deaths. As our chart based on CDC data shows, synthetic opioids like fentanyl have become associated with the majority of overdose mortality.

Out of the more than 106,000 registered cases of deaths by overdose in 2021, a little over 70,000 or two thirds were directly related to synthetic opioids, the most prevalent of which is fentanyl. The drug is said to be 50 times more potent than heroin and is easy and cheap to manufacture since it’s not tied to a crop base like more traditional opioids like heroin. The picture gets even more dire in the teenage and young adult age bracket. Here, 80 percent of the 7,426 overdose deaths can be ascribed to synthetic opioids, with the connected cases increasing almost sixfold between 2015 and 2021.


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