Special Report

States With the Most Fentanyl Deaths

The U.S. is grappling with a drug epidemic. More than 200,000 Americans have died from a fentanyl overdose since 2015. Fentanyl is a dangerous opioid that is up to 100 times stronger than morphine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More Americans ages 18-45 were killed by fentanyl than any other cause in 2020 – including suiсide, car accidents, and COVID-19. No state has been left untouched by the fentanyl crisis, but in some states the crisis is worse, and fatalities have skyrocketed in recent years.

To determine the states with the highest rate of fentanyl fatalities, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the report “Fentanyl: The State We’re In” from advocacy group Families Against Fentanyl. The report uses data from the CDC on the total number of fentanyl-caused deaths by state from 2015-2021. We used the number of fentanyl deaths and five-year population data from the Census Bureau to rank the states by fentanyl fatalities per capita.

Fentanyl has often been used as a pain management treatment for cancer patients, but illicitly manufactured fentanyl is often mixed in with other narcotics and causes a high share of the drug overdose and fatality cases in the U.S.

The number of fentanyl fatalities per capita over the last few years varies widely from state to state. A dozen states reported fewer than 20 fatalities per 100,000 residents from 2015 to 2021. Conversely, 12 other states reported more than 100 fentanyl-related fatalities per 100,000 during that same time – and one state recorded over 200 deaths per 100,000.

The prevalence of fentanyl-related deaths has grown significantly in recent years. From 2015 to 2021, the number of fentanyl deaths increased by 547% in the U.S. overall. Additionally, all but one state for which there is data saw fentanyl deaths more than double in that same time period. These are the 25 most dangerous drugs.

Click here for the states with the most fentanyl deaths

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