Recent analysis of federal data from a nonprofit organization reveals that fentanyl-related deaths are rising at a worrying rate among young Americans, including infants.
The study found that children under the age of 14 are dying from fentanyl poisoning at a faster rate than any other age group, more than tripling between 2019 and 2021.
The study, by the nonprofit group Families Against Fentanyl, analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the synthetic opioid from 2019 to 2021, the last year the statistics were available.
During that period, fentanyl deaths among infants rose twice as fast as the count for people of all ages. During the first year of life, deaths from fentanyl quadrupled, more than tripled between ages 1 to 4, and nearly quadrupled between ages 5 to 14.
The study showed that fentanyl continues to be the leading cause of death among people aged 18 to 45. Also, nearly all fentanyl deaths in the US are “unintentional poisonings.”
In 2000, more than one in four deaths were suicides, but by 2021 that was down to less than 1 percent.
With these alarming statistics, Florida Attorney General Moody is warning parents about synthetic opioids and sharing a toolkit with information on how they can talk to children about the dangers.
“This is disturbing news,” he said in a prepared statement. “As the mother of a school-age child, I want to make sure that all families engage in an open dialogue about the dangers posed by the massive amounts of illicit drugs flooding our country.
“We have known for some time about the skyrocketing deaths from fentanyl among young adults, and we suspected that it was having an increasing impact on young children, but this report confirms the urgent public safety risks that all parents face. they now face when they try to protect their children from this deadly synthetic poison that floods our country from Mexico.”
Moody added that there are news reports of at least two high school students in the Northeast having complications from using vapes that are possibly laced with fentanyl.
Moody also shared a Fast Facts on Fentanyl Tookit (in Spanish) that provides information on how to protect children from drug dealers on social media and warns that substances obtained from them may contain fentanyl. The toolkit also provides examples of emojis used as codes in online conversations about illicit drug transactions.
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