UW study finds fentanyl kills record numbers of young people


A new study from the University of Washington shows that overdose deaths involving fentanyl are increasing dramatically in Washington state. Seattle school officials say a very concerning trend is that young adults under the age of 30 appear to be consuming fentanyl at much higher rates than ever before.

Study found fentanyl-related deaths on the rise every year

The study looked at deaths from 2010 to 2020 and found from 2010 to 2011, “Commonly prescribed opioids were the most common type of opioid found in young adults. In 2012, however, heroin overtook the downward trend in commonly prescribed opioids. As of 2013 the heroin level among young adults remained slightly above 2/100,000, while the rate of commonly prescribed opioids was slightly below 2/100,000. Fentanyl-related deaths among those under 30 years first increased in 2016. In 2019, fentanyl surpassed other categories of opioids in overdose deaths among those under 30 years of age with a rate of 4/100 000 which then doubled to 8/100 000 in 2020. “

Many young people overdose here in Yakima

The total number of opioid-related overdose deaths during this period was 8,362. Yakima County Coroner Jim Curtice said 95 people had died from overdoses, up from 87 nearly two weeks ago. .
Curtice says at least half of the deaths are directly linked to the deadly drug fentanyl. He says 95 overdose is the most overdose death his office has ever seen. In 2020, 73 people died from overdoses. 50 people died of an overdose in 2019 in Yakima County. 38 overdosed and died in 2018.
Today the number stands at 95 and Curtice says it is likely that the number will increase before the end of the year.

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