Fentanyl Overdose is Now the No. 1 Cause of Death Among Adult Americans Aged 18-45

According to a U.S. government analysis, Fentanyl has become the leading cause for death among adults aged 18 to 45.

Nearly 79,000 people aged between 18 and 45 died from fentanyl overdoses between 2020 and 2021, according to the data analysis by Families Against Fentanyl. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that there were 53,000 deaths (among people aged 18 and 49) due to COVID-19 between Jan. 1, 2020 and Dec. 15, 2021.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, can cause death even when taken in small quantities. Other drugs such as heroin and meth can also be spiked by the drug. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, (DEA), Mexico and China are the main sources of fentanyl entering the United States.

“This is a national emergency. America’s young adults — thousands of unsuspecting Americans — are being poisoned. It is widely known that illicit fentanyl is driving the massive spike in drug-related deaths. A new approach to this catastrophe is needed,” James Rauh, founder of Families Against Fentanyl, said in a statement. 

Rauh, whose son died of overdose, added that “declaring illicit fentanyl a Weapon of Mass Destruction would activate additional and necessary federal resources to root out the international manufacturers and traffickers of illicit fentanyl and save American lives.”

Thursday’s announcement by the DEA revealed a spike in fake prescription pills containing opioids that were being sold on social media platforms such as Snapchat. Experts believe there’s a correlation between the coronavirus pandemic’s impact and recent spikes in fentanyl doses.

Fentanyl overdoses killed more adults aged 18 to 45 in 2020 than any other leading cause, COVID-19 and motor vehicle accidents. According to Families Against Fentanyl’s analysis of CDC data, Fentanyl killed more Americans overall in 2020 than gun violence, car accidents, and breast cancer.

Fentanyl fatalities have doubled between April 2019 – April 2021, from 32,754 to 64,178 deaths.

“Fentanyl has been found in all the drug supply. That’s why anyone using drugs, not just opioids, should carry naloxone,” stated Dr. Roneet Lev, the emergency physician and former chief medical officer of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

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