Fentanyl overdose deaths skyrocketed 1,280% over the past five years in Los Angeles, according to a new study.
Among the deaths, the highest fell into adults aged 26 to 39 who live in affluent areas. This was followed by the age range of 40 to 64, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
The study derived shocking figures from looking at emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths broken down by age, gender, and ethnicity.
“White residents accounted for the largest number of fentanyl overdose deaths, ED visits, and hospitalizations, followed by Latino, Black, and Asian residents,” the report said.
The report added that black residents were higher at 30%, compared to 22% for white residents, if ethnic groups were broken down compared to rates per 100,000 people.
“Even a tiny amount of fentanyl can cause death, especially for those without high tolerance,” the report added.
“In the United States, fentanyl and its analogues have been increasingly involved in overdose deaths since 2013 and are now the most common drugs involved in fatal overdoses, accounting for 62% of all overdose deaths in 2020,” it continued.
The country began keeping statistics when the number of accidental fentanyl deaths was 109 in 2016.
But in 2020, that figure more than doubled, going from 462 the year before to 1,149.
In 2021, 1,504 deaths were reported.
The statistic reveals that the majority of the deaths were male, with 1,174 last year compared to 310 women.
The number of men dying from Fentanyl has continued to be at least three times higher than women since 2016.
As the Washington Examiner noted:
The researchers looked at the geographic areas around the county and found that downtown Los Angeles, which has the county’s largest black population, also had the highest number of deaths compared to East Los Angeles, bordering Orange County, and West Los Angeles, which includes Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.
Affluent areas accounted for nearly half of the fatal overdoses at 48%, compared to 8% in poorer areas. But the picture changes when the data are calculated by population size.
“The rate of fentanyl overdose deaths per 100,000 population in the least affluent areas were more than triple than those of the most affluent areas — 38.4% vs. 12.3%,” the report said.