More African Americans, Hispanics are dying of fentanyl overdoses

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An increasing number of African Americans are dying from fentanyl overdoses — what has long been pegged as a problem primarily for white communities, according to a report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The deadliest drug in America claimed 18,335 lives in 2016, up drastically from 1,663 in 2011.

Non-Hispanic white people remain most affected by overall fentanyl overdoses, according to the analysis. African Americans saw the sharpest increase in deaths, rising 140.6 percent each year. Hispanics experienced a jump of 118.3 percent annually.

“These are pretty astounding numbers in terms of the percentage increase per year,” lead CDC researcher Merianne Spencer told HealthDay News.

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