Increasing Number of African Americans and Hispanics Are Dying of Fentanyl Overdoses

Packages containing fentanyl and carfentanil are stored in the detention room at the JFK International Airport Mail Facilities Federal Inspection Site after being discovered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in this file photo. (Photo: Seth Harrison, The Journal News)

An increasing number of African Americans are dying from fentanyl overdoses — what has long been pegged as a problem primarily for white communities, according to a report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The deadliest drug in America claimed 18,335 lives in 2016, up drastically from 1,663 in 2011.

Non-Hispanic white people remain most affected by overall fentanyl overdoses, according to the analysis. African Americans saw the sharpest increase in deaths, rising 140.6 percent each year. Hispanics experienced a jump of 118.3 percent annually.

“These are pretty astounding numbers in terms of the percentage increase per year,” lead CDC researcher Merianne Spencer told HealthDay News.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Ashley May