A new report shows North Carolina has the nations

first_imgA new report shows North Carolina has the nation’s second highest increase in opioid deaths. A study from the Centers For Disease Control estimates that just over 2,500 people in North Carolina overdosed on opioids and other drugs in 2017. That’s a nearly 22 percent increase from the year before.The CDC says that of those overdoses, nearly 2,300 deaths were reported, but that number is expected to rise due in part to autopsy delays. Public officials tell the News and Observer that the rise is due in part to the rapid spread of synthetic fentanyl, which is cheaper and more potent than heroin.The black market is also seeing a spike in fentanyl “analogues,” which are drugs created to imitate the effects of fentanyl. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says there are at least 42 types of these copycat drugs on the market, many of which are being mixed in with heroin, cocaine and other painkillers.The skyrocketing pace of drug overdoses in North Carolina mirrors a national trend. The state with the steepest rise in overdose deaths in 2017 was Nebraska, with a nearly 33 percent increase.last_img

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