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Several US states register rise in fentanyl increase death rates

Washington, Jun 29 (Prensa Latina) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday confirmed that fentanyl and xylazine overdose increase death rates 276 percent in the United States from 2019 to 2022.

The CDC provided new data to warn that xylazine also known as “Tranq” is a powerful sedative that is not approved for any use in human beings, which is increasingly being mixed with fentanyl.

Experts argued that such combination triggers the side effect of showing horrific skin wounds, which is currently appearing in over a quarter of illicit drug deaths in some states across the country.

The CDC has detected xylazine in 9 percent of fatal overdoses involving illicit fentanyl in 31 states and the District of Columbia from January 2021 through June 2022.

Of those states, Maryland has the worst statewide rate: 27.7 percent of deaths, followed by Connecticut at 26.4 percent and Pennsylvania at 23.3 percent.

Some of such increase may be due to greater efforts to test for xylazine, the agency experts explained, although inconsistent approaches to verifying it in overdose deaths mean these numbers are likely to remain an underestimate.

Many routine toxicology tests still fail to detect xylazine, a finding that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration described as “alarming” earlier this year.

“These data show that fentanyl combined with xylazine is increasingly dangerous and deadly. That is why, the Biden-Harris Administration recently described it as an emerging threat,” said Rahul Gupta, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The United States records over 100,000 deaths per month from illicit drug overdoses, according to CBS News reports.