Press Release

Heroin and Synthetic Opioids Have Driven the Recent Acceleration in Opioid-Involved Fatalities

Today the American Action Forum released research examining the recent rise in opioid-involved fatalities. AAF research found that despite opioid prescriptions declining since 2010, the number of opioid-involved deaths has accelerated due to a staggering rise in heroin and synthetic opioid-involved overdose fatalities. The annual growth rate of heroin-involved overdose fatalities increased from 4.1 percent before 2010 to 31.2 percent after 2010, while the annual growth rate of synthetic opioid-involved overdose fatalities also increased, from 13.7 percent to 36.5 percent. Synthetic opioid-involved overdose fatalities have risen particularly fast in recent years, increasing 84.2 percent per year since 2013. AAF’s Ben Gitis concludes that combating opioid dependency requires a comprehensive approach that continues to address the supply of legal prescription opioids, but also more effectively treats dependency and cuts off the supply of illicit opioids.
Click here to read the research.

Click here to view the related infographic.