The government has reported that, since the year 2020, fentanyl overdoses have become the new leading cause of death for American adults between the ages of 18 and 45, as reported by Fox News.
The analysis from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) shows that nearly 79,000 Americans died from the drug between 2020 and 2021. Of those, just over 37,000 died in 2020 while almost 42,000 died in 2021. Fentanyl is an opioid that is sometimes laced with other drugs such as meth and heroin when used by addicts, but can also be deadly on its own in even small doses. The primary foreign sources for imports of the drug are China and Mexico.
Fentanyl overdoses have surpassed all other leading causes of death in the last two years. By contrast, only about 53,000 Americans between the ages of 18 and 49 died of the Chinese coronavirus from 2020 to 2021. Fentanyl has also claimed more lives in this age group than car accidents, suicide, gun violence, and breast cancer, among others. The number of overall fentanyl deaths in the last two years has also surpassed previous years’ totals, doubling from about 33,000 to 64,000 between 2019 and 2021.