Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Fentanyl is fueling a record number of youth drug deaths

Fentanyl, a pervasive killer in America's illicit drug supply, is increasingly landing in the hands of teens across the region and nation, worrying providers who say treatment options for youths are limited.

Across the country, fentanyl has largely fueled a more than doubling of overdose deaths among children ages 12 to 17 since the start of the pandemic, according to a Washington Post analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data released this month.

Fatal overdoses in D.C., Maryland and Virginia are in keeping with the national increase in opioid fatalities, which until recently primarily claimed the lives of adults. In 2022, 45 teens succumbed to opioids locally, a number roughly equal to the previous three years combined, data show. And incomplete data for 2023 show no sign of the crisis abating in young people.


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