Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Killed by a pill bought on social media: the counterfeit drugs poisoning US teens

Their tragedies are part of an explosion of drug-related deaths among US high school and college-aged youth, fueled by what experts say is a flood of fentanyl-filled counterfeit pills being sold on social media and sometimes delivered straight to kids’ homes.

National statistics show a huge surge in drug-related deaths during the pandemic, with fatalities leaping to more than 93,000 in 2020, a 32% rise from 2019. But no group has seen a faster rise than youth under 24, according to a Guardian analysis of 2020 federal data. Among this age group, accidental drug deaths increased by 50% in a single year – taking 7,337 young lives in 2020. Experts say a large portion of this increase is due to the vast quantities of fentanyl streaming into the US.

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