Deaths from fentanyl overdose in the US are at a historic high. For the first time in the country, the number of people who died from drug overdose in one year reached 100,000.

66 percent of these deaths were caused by fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a type of opioid. Opioids are defined as chemicals that have a morphine effect on the body and are generally used as analgesics and can cause addiction.

In addition to prescription drugs such as morphine and codeine, heroin is also an opioid.

Fentanyl is a drug that can be prescribed by a doctor for extreme pain, but is also produced and sold by illegal organizations.

According to the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), illegal drugs made using chemicals from China are smuggled into the country through Mexico.

In 2010, fewer than 40,000 people died from drug overdoses; less than 10 percent of these deaths were due to fentanyl use.


Back then, deaths were more likely to be caused by heroin or prescription opioids.

A study published this week by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), looking at overdose deaths between 2010 and 2021, paints a grim picture.

Researchers report that illegally produced fentanyl has "created an unprecedented overdose crisis" in the US.

From Hawaii to Alaska and Rhode Island, fentanyl was found in all corners of the US, while the first deaths from this substance were observed in 2015.