Sep 24, 2015 1:10 PM
Fentanyl involved in more NH overdose deaths in 2014 than heroin
CONCORD - New Hampshire continues to talk about a heroin epidemic — and yet a look at state data shows that, increasingly, what’s killing people is a different opioid called fentanyl.
Fentanyl is considered as much as 30 times more powerful than heroin.
INTERACTIVE GRAPHIC: SHOWS HOW MANY TIMES FENTANYL WAS IMPLICATED IN OVERDOSE DEATHS BETWEEN 2009-2014
And while fentanyl is a prescription painkiller that has been around since the 1990s, and does pop up occasionally in overdose statistics before 2014, it’s clear the drug has contributed to an explosion of overdose deaths starting in 2014.
Fentanyl has frequently been used to cut heroin and sometimes other drugs like cocaine. But NH1’s review of the data shows an increasing number of overdose deaths that are due to fentanyl alone as well as mixed with other drugs.
NH1 News requested and received this information from the NH Office of the Medical Examiner, and we will continue to break down the data in order to better understand the substance abuse challenge facing the state.
Incomplete data from 2015 suggests fentanyl is continuing to lead the pack in terms of drugs implicated in overdose deaths.
With 188 confirmed overdose deaths analyzed as of early August, the vast majority were related to opioids. A total of 43 of the deaths involved heroin — and 129 involved fentanyl either alone or in combination with heroin or another drug.