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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
October 10, 2017

As Heroin Death Rates Rose, So Did Illicit Drug Seizures

JAMA. 2017;318(14):1315. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.14433

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.