How fentanyl and COVID-19 pandemic reshaped the racial profile of overdose deaths in US

For as long as statistics about opioid overdose deaths have been collected in the United States, white individuals have been much more likely to die than Black individuals of the same age. With the rapidly increasing rate of fentanyl overdoses in the late 2010s, that trend began to reverse—by the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, more Black Americans began to die of opioid overdoses and from drug overdoses of any kind, according to researchers at Penn State.

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