The CDC has reported that substantial increases in heroin-related death rates since 2006 have been driven by interwoven trends: an expanding US supply of potent, low-priced heroin and the addition of illegally manufactured fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, to the heroin supply.
Heroin’s ready supply has made it an attractive alternative to prescription opioids, which have been implicated in increased drug overdose deaths for nearly 2 decades. Previous reports have shown that opioid overdose deaths in the United States have quadrupled, from about 8000 in 1999 to some 33 000 in 2015.
As Heroin Death Rates Rose, So Did Illicit Drug Seizures. JAMA. 2017;318(14):1315. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.14433