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Fentanyl deaths spike in certain parts of the U.S.

Between 2019 and 2020, illicitly manufactured fentanyl-related overdose deaths increased substantially in western, southern, and midwestern states, CDC reported.

According to the report, fentanyl-related overdose deaths exceeded 1,800 in western states in the second half of 2020, a nearly 94% increase compared with the same period a year earlier.

The second half of 2020 saw more than 4,300 deaths involving illicitly manufactured fentanyl in southern states, a nearly 65% increase from the previous year period, while such deaths in midwestern states topped 2,000 for that period, up 33% from the second half of 2019.

In the northeast, illegal fentanyl–related overdose deaths increased 3.5% from the second half of 2019 to the same period of 2020.

CDC called for improved overdose prevention, harm reduction, and response efforts, saying the measures are “urgently needed to address the high potency and various routes of use” for illicitly manufactured fentanyl.

The report, which focuses on 29 states and Washington, DC, noted that about 40% of the fentanyl-related deaths in 2020 also involved a stimulant.

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