The ongoing opioid crisis and fatal overdose deaths are impacting all aspects of American society. The coronavirus pandemic disrupted health care services and reduced access to substance abuse treatment and prevention services. As a world leader in serving science, Thermo Fisher Scientific supports communities with education and testing solutions to provide a meaningful impact to individuals affected by the crisis.
The subcategorization of fentanyl-involved fatalities increased from 253 in 2019 to 884 in 2021. Fentanyls were identified in 77.14% of adolescent overdose deaths, compared with 13.26% for benzodiazepines, 9.77% for methamphetamine, 7.33% for cocaine, 5.76% for prescription opioids, and 2.27% for heroin.6
Stimulants: Methamphetamine, amphetamine, cocaine, MDMA
Depressants: Opioids, heroin, oxycodone, benzodiazepines, fentanyl, tramadol, alcohol
1. Joint Economic Committee Democrats: https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/67bced7f-4232-40ea-9263-f033d280c567/jec-cost-of-opioids-issue-brief.pdf
2. Czeisler W, et al. Mental health, substance use, and suicidal ideation during the COVID-19 pandemic. MMWR.2020;69(32):1049-1057.
3. CDC. Drug Overdose Deaths in the U.S. Up 30% in 2020. National Center for Health Statistics; July 2021.
4. CDC. U.S. Overdose Deaths In 2021 Increased Half as Much as in 2020–But Are Still Up 15%. National Center for Health Statistics; May 2022.
5. AMA. Issue Brief: Nation’s drug-related overdose and death epidemic continues to worsen. August 2021.
6. Ciccarone, Daniel Current Opinion in Psychiatry: July 2021 - Volume 34 - Issue 4 - p 344-350 doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000717
7. O’Donnell J, Gladden RM, Mattson CL, Hunter CT, Davis NL. Vital Signs: Characteristics of Drug Overdose Deaths Involving Opioids and Stimulants — 24 States and the District of Columbia, January–June 2019. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020; 69:1189–1197. DOI:
8. NCHS, National Vital Statistics System. Estimates for 2020 are based on provisional data. Estimates for 2015-2019 are based on final data
9. CDC Polysubstance - https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/polysubstance-use/pdf/Polysubstance-Use-Fact-Sheet_508.pdf
10. National Conference of State Legislatures, May 2022 https://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/marijuana-overview.aspx
11. Novel Designer Benzodiazepines: Comprehensive Review of Evolving Clinical and Adverse Effects. Neurol. Int. 2022, 14, 648–663.
12. Substance Use Trend Alert, August 2022, FADAA, Florida Behavioral Health Association