Overdose deaths related to synthetic opioids have skyrocketed in recent years, rising 72% between 2014 and 2015—driven in large part by the widespread use of the drug, fentanyl. Now, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are hoping to understand more about fentanyl overdoses by interviewing people who have overdosed on the drug or who have been present during a fentanyl overdose.
The CDC recently released a report in which researchers interviewed 64 people from Massachusetts—95% had witnessed an overdose in the previous six months, and 42% had overdosed themselves.
Researchers asked about fentanyl in the drug supply. Respondents reported that they often did not know whether the heroin they were using contained fentanyl. Some people specifically went looking for fentanyl, while