Between 2019 and 2021, synthetic opioid fatalities led by fentanyl poisonings among U.S. children under 14 years old increased faster than among any other U.S. age group, according to an FAF analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
Infant fentanyl deaths increased twice as fast between 2019 and 2021. Fentanyl deaths among toddlers between the ages of 1 and 4 more than tripled, and deaths among children between the ages of 5 and 14 nearly quadrupled, according to FAF.
In many cases, the drug is ingested without the person’s knowledge. People are taking pills — such as at parties — not knowing the pills are counterfeit and heavily laced with fentanyl.
Two milligrams of fentanyl, which is the size of a mosquito, is enough to kill an adult. The CDC said more than 100,000 people died of a drug overdose in 2021, and more than 65,000 of those deaths were linked to fentanyl.
Americans 25 to 44 accounted for 53.2% of the total number of fentanyl deaths in the U.S. in 2021.
Fentanyl spread across the United States in recent years and is the latest wave of a drug crisis started with addictive painkillers and followed by heroin.
The Drug Enforcement Administration warned that Fentanyl is the deadliest narcotic nationwide and according to federal agents 379 million potentially deadly doses were intercepted in 2022.