MONDAY, Dec. 19, 2022 (HealthDay News) — From July to December 2019 to July to December 2021, there was an increase in overdose deaths and deaths involving illicitly manufactured fentanyls (IMFs), according to research published in the Dec. 16 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Lauren J. Tanz, Sc.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues describe trends and characteristics of overdose deaths during July 2019 to December 2021 among adolescents aged 10 to 19 years using the CDC State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System.

The researchers found that the median monthly overdose deaths increased 109 percent from July to December 2019 to July to December 2021, while deaths involving IMFs increased 182 percent. About 90 and 83.9 percent of overdose deaths involved opioids and IMFs, respectively; documented opioid use history was seen for only 35 percent of decedents. There was evidence of counterfeit pills in 24.5 percent of overdose deaths. Evidence of mental health conditions or treatment was seen for 40.9 percent of decedents.

“Overdose prevention efforts promoting awareness of dangers of IMFs and aiming to treat underlying mental health and substance use disorders might help reduce adolescent overdose deaths,” the authors write.

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