Fentanyl passed heroin last year as the deadliest drug in Pennsylvania as fatal overdoses continued to skyrocket.
More than 4,600 people died in 2016, a 37-percent increase, according to the Philadelphia field division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA is releasing its "Analysis of Drug-Related Overdose Deaths in Pennsylvania, 2016" by the end of June.
But among key findings released Thursday include:
- Prescriptions and opioids made up 85 percent of fatal overdoses.
- Fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances were identified as the cause in 52 percent of deaths, passing heroin (45 percent) for the first time.
- Pennsylvanians 15-to-24 years old "had a 380% increase in their odds of a fentanyl-related death than other age groups."
- Pennsylvanians 25-to-34 years old "had a 970% increase in their odds of dying of a heroin-related overdose when compared to other age groups."