Fentanyl Overdose Deaths Skyrocket 279% Since 2016 Amid Nationwide Drug Crisis
Fentanyl is fueling the worst drug crisis in the history of the US. New federal data shows the rate of overdose deaths linked to the synthetic opioid has skyrocketed over the last five years.
According to a report released early Wednesday by the National Center for Health Statistics' National Vital Statistics System, the rate of fentanyl-related overdose deaths jumped 279% between 2016 and 2021, rising from 5.7 per 100,000 to 21.6 per 100,000.
"We are always hoping we won't see a rise in fentanyl deaths, but this really highlights that this is continuing to be the public health problem," Merianne Spencer, a co-author of the report and a researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told ABC News.
So far in the Biden years, a significant crisis has emerged at the southern border, which White House officials have seemingly overlooked. However, just recently, before the next presidential election cycle, White House officials have been more motivated to address the issues, such as sending 1,500 troops to the southern border. Meanwhile, illegal border crossings have reached unprecedented levels, coinciding with a nationwide surge in drug overdose deaths.