The illicit drug market continues to become more treacherous. Illicit drugs killed more than 107,000 Americans in the last 12 months, the most on record, and are now the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18 and 45, more than firearms, car accidents, and Covid-19.
The increase in overdose deaths can be attributed to one drug — fentanyl — a synthetic opioid that is many times more powerful than heroin. Once found only in hospitals, fentanyl is now ubiquitous. It can be found in every corner of America and in some places has supplanted the supply of other drugs like heroin.