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Americans are dying all over the United States as a direct result of illicit fentanyl, according to a story in The Los Angeles Times.   While “opioids” are blamed for this epidemic of death and overdose, numbers from the Center For Disease Control (CDC) clearly demonstrate the role that fentanyl is playing in these deaths.

Drug overdose deaths increased 27.9% since 2015, and the CDC notes, “These increases primarily were driven by deaths involving synthetic opioids, for which the rate doubled from 2015 to 2016.”

The CDC report refers to IMF, or illicitly manufactured fentanyl as the cause of a “third wave” of overdose deaths in the United States, that started in 2013.  The report states, “Synthetic opioid-involved deaths in 2016 accounted for 30.5% of all drug overdose deaths and 45.9% of all opioid-involved deaths, with a 100% increase in the rate of these deaths compared with 2015. Synthetic opioids propelled increases with 19,413 deaths (more than any drug examined), and previous findings underscore the contribution of IMF. In addition, IMF is now being mixed into counterfeit opioid and benzodiazepine pills, heroin, and cocaine, likely contributing to increases in overdose death rates involving other substances.”

The Los Angeles Times describes this “third wave” as a “public health crisis that touches just about every segment of the country.”

On April 10, the Partnership for Safe Medicines released a report on how counterfeit prescription medications made with fentanyl are killing Americans. To date, 43 states have reported finding fake prescription pills made with fentanyl and 22 states have reported deaths specifically attributable to fentanyl-laced counterfeit prescription pills.