Fentanyl is the deadliest drug in America, according to the CDC


    In this Oct. 22, 2018 file photo, a fentanyl user holds a needle near Kensington and Cambria in Philadelphia. Suicides and drug overdoses helped lead a surge in U.S. deaths last year, and drove a continuing decline in how long Americans are expected to live. U.S. health officials released the latest numbers Thursday, Nov. 29. Death rates for heroin, methadone and prescription opioid painkillers were flat. But deaths from the powerful painkiller fentanyl and its close opioid cousins continued to soar in 2017. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, File)

    MIAMI VALLEY, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - The Centers for Disease Control published a new report naming fentanyl the deadliest in America, surpassing heroin and cocaine.

    The rate of drug overdoses involving the synthetic opioids skyrocketed by about 113 percent each year from 2013 through 2016.

    Montgomery County Coroner Kent Harshbarger said the facts are in the data.

    "The numbers prove that, particularly nationwide, we had 70,000 deaths in 2017," he said, "and by far fentanyl is the most common compound identified."

    In Montgomery County, there's been a similar trend.

    "The deadliest fentanyl compound is carfentanil," Harshbarger said. "We started seeing it in 2016 and it continued into 2017. It was really responsible for our deaths and large spike in 17."

    According to Montgomery County Public Heath data, in about 80 percent of Montgomery County overdose deaths in 2017, fentanyl or one of its analogs was present in the body.

    Harshbarger said that thanks to Narcan and other factors, overall, opioid deaths are down in the Miami Valley.

    Families of Addicts President Lori Erion agrees, but said the fight is still far from over.

    "I think about the mom who lost her child today. Do you think she thinks things are going better?” Erion said.

    Local departments and organization are working side by side to do what they can, from creating policies to stop overseas companies from shipping fentanyl to warning people about its effects

    "One of things we’re doing is trying to figure out where it’s coming from and cut that supply down," Erion said.

    "It's not a private chemist," Harshbarger said. "It's drug labs and big cartels. China is making a lot of it and its getting into this country."

    "People need to realize what you're buying on the streets is a lethal product," he continued. "You have no idea what it is that you're putting in your body."

    Health officials said they have seen an increase in meth use, and in November 2018, drug overdose deaths surpassed the numbers for 2017.

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