More adults between 18 and 45 died of fentanyl overdoses in 2020 than COVID-19, motor vehicle accidents, cancer and suicide

Fentanyl overdoses have surged to the leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 18 and 45, according to an analysis of U.S. government data.

Between 2020 and 2021, nearly 79,000 people between 18 and 45 years old — 37,208 in 2020 and 41,587 in 2021 — died of fentanyl overdoses, the data analysis from opioid awareness organization Families Against Fentanyl shows.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be deadly even in very small amounts, and other drugs, including heroin, meth and marijuana, can be laced with the dangerous drug. Mexico and China are the primary sources for the flow of fentanyl into the United States, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). 

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