Traditionally, opioid overdoses are low in the African American community, but new research shows opioids and synthetic opioids –like fentanyl– are killing more middle-aged black adults.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in large metropolitan areas, black adults saw the largest increases in rates of drug overdose deaths involving opioids and synthetic opioids.
The CDC found that nearly all racial and ethnic groups also experienced significant increases from 2015 to 2017.
Earlier research found that synthetic opioids accounted for nearly 60% of opioid-involved deaths in the U.S. in 2017. About 48,000 people died that year from opioid overdoses. 2017 is the latest year with complete data.
Experts say synthetic opioids are showing up in a wide variety of drugs, including fake prescription drugs, cocaine, and meth.