Science

U.S. fentanyl deaths are rising fastest among African Americans

By 2016, fentanyl-related drug overdoses among blacks and Hispanics had started to catch up to non-Hispanic whites. The death rate for blacks rose 140.6 percent annually, on average, to 5.6 deaths per 100,000 people in 2016, and Hispanics rate rose 118.3 percent, to 2.5. Whites remain the most affected group, with a rate of 7.7 deaths per 100,000 people, an annual increase, on average, of 61 percent over the same period.

Drug overdose deaths involving fentanyl, by race (2011–2016)

From 2011 to 2013, the death rates among men and women from fentanyl-related drug overdoses were similar and hovered around 0.5 deaths per 100,000 people. But deaths among men started growing faster in 2013, and reached a rate of 8.6 per 100,000 in 2016, nearly three times the rate for women. Researchers arent sure why. The overall death rate grew from 0.5 deaths per 100,000 in 2011 to 5.9 in 2016.

Drug overdose deaths involving fentanyl, by sex (2011–2016)

Eastern and Midwestern U.S. states have been the most affected by the fentanyl epidemic, particularly New England, while western states have seen much lower increases in overdose deaths. In 2016, deaths rates ranged from 0.8 per 100,000 people in the public heal

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