Fentanyl-Related Deaths of Children and Teenagers Become More Common in the US

Fentanyl-Related Deaths of Children and Teenagers Become More Common in the US

Authorities from the US need to be more careful when it comes to how the population is handling fentanyl, the highly potent synthetic piperidine opioid drug that’s primarily used as an analgesic. More cases of deaths among children and teenagers from the US are reported because of the administration of fentanyl, according to ScienceNews.

If we take a look at the stats from 2021, they look as terrifying as possible. It seems that for that year, more than 1,500 children who are under 20 years old have died because of fentanyl, which means four times as many individuals of the same age group were reported in 2018. The stats are revealed by Julie Gaither, who works at the Yale School of Medicine. 

Fentanyl is dozens of times more potent than heroin

Another stat shows that since 2018, fentanyl, along with its analogues, has been responsible for most deaths related to a drug overdose that were reported in the US. Fentanyl is 30 to 50 times stronger than heroin, which explains pretty much how it can be lethal.

The vast majority of death cases related to fentanyl, in the case of children and teenagers, were accidents.

Drug dealers illegally sell fentanyl, and it can even replace the drug someone is expecting to buy.

Sarah Bagley from the Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine explained, as ScienceNews quotes:

That’s primarily the story of what’s happening among teenagers,

People are not anticipating that they are going to be exposed to fentanyl, and then they are, and that results in an overdose.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collected data regarding the deaths of children, and Gaither analyzed it. The data collected covers a huge period of over two decades – from 1999 to 2021, to be more precise. 


Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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