The synthetic drug, fentanyl, surpassed heroin as the most deadly drug in the United States, and has more than 18,000 lives in 2016, federal health officials said Wednesday.
In 2016, the last year for which complete data is available, "29 percent of all deaths from overdose & # 39; drugs mentioned the involvement of & # 39; fentanyl," said the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic narcotic and has been criticized for the deaths & # 39; including rock star Prince and Tom Petty.
It works on the brain like morphine or heroin, but is between 50 and 100 times more potent, and can & # 39; easily lead to overdose.
Rate & # 39; deaths from overdose of drugs in the United States tripled from 1999 to 2016, as the nation deals with persistent epidemic & # 39; opioids.
The deaths related to overdose & # 39; drug b & # 39; Fentanyl doubled each year from 2013 to 2016, "from 0.6 per 100,000 in 2013 to 1.3 in 2014, 2.6 in 2015, and 5.9 in 2016 ", said the report.
Meanwhile, deaths from heroin and methamphetamine more than tripled from 2011 to 2016.
Heroin was the leading cause of death & # 39; overdose & # 39; drugs from 2012 to 2015, said the report.
The analgesic & # 39; the painkillers Oxycodone rated at the highest level in 2011.
The cocaine has consistently ranked second or third in & # 39; terms & # 39; drugs to lose weight, followed by methamphetamine.