Drug-Overdose Deaths Reached a Record in 2021, Fueled by Fentanyl
By Jon Kamp
U.S. overdose fatalities climbed about 15% last year from 2020 to hit an unfortunate new milestone, preliminary Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data show. With more than 107,000 people dying in this manner, the agency says 2021 represents the first calendar-year tally that has passed the 100,000 mark. Much of the blame, experts explain, goes to the prevalence of fentanyl — a potent synthetic opioid that CDC estimates now accounts for about two-thirds of all drug deaths. More and more deadly overdoses also are being traced back to the stimulants methamphetamine and cocaine — often unknowingly laced with fentanyl, which is also being used to make phony prescription opioids. "We've never seen anything like this," said Robert Anderson, chief of the mortality-statistics branch at CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, commenting on fentanyl's contribution to the overdose trend.
Read more on the Wall Street Journal.