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New data shows synthetic opioids outpacing other drugs in overdose deaths

Dillon McClernon

Authored by Dillon McClernon

“People are not necessarily choosing to use fentanyl they’re going for what they think is an Oxicodon or a prescribed pill and instead it’s mixed with fentanyl,” said Stephanie Anderson, CEO of Recovery Centers of America. “That’s what’s leading to those overdose deaths. People do not realize what they’re taking.”

Nationally, the synthetic opioids overdose death rate rose roughly 47% from 2019-2020. Anderson says part of the reason for the increase is drug dealers adding fentanyl to all sorts of substances.

“It’s cheap to cut a drug with fentanyl,” said Anderson. “It gives a very powerful high. The dealer takes a great risk here. It gets people more addicted to the substance and they balance that with I might lose this person to death or I might get them really addicted and have a good customer.”

Since 2015, CDC data shows synthetic opioids have become the prevalent source of overdose deaths nationwide. In 2020, synthetic opioids made up 41% of overdose deaths nationwide. In comparison, in 2015, the first year on the CDC data track, opioids only made up only 17% of overdose deaths nationwide.

“New data shows synthetic opioids outpacing other drugs in overdose deaths”, Fox59 IL,

Authored by

Dillon McClernon

Dillon McClernon

Dillon currently serves as the Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at RCA. After his tenure as Chief Communications Officer and senior advisor to RCA, he opted for a full-time position at RCA where he could build a new team linking sales and marketing to directly impact RCA’s mission of saving 1 million lives.


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