Fentanyl Deaths In Clark County On The Rise

Number Of Deaths Already Equal To Last Year's Total

Mitch Kelly
July 28, 2020 - 5:13 am
Illegal fentanyl is safely handled and contained

Darwin Brandis/Getty Images

Categories: 

LAS VEGAS, NV (KXNT) - New numbers released Monday by the Southern Nevada Health District show a troubling trend when it comes to the drug fentanyl. 

According to data released by the Southern Nevada Health District, deaths involving fentanyl or fentanyl analogs (drugs designed to mimic the pharmacological effects of fentanyl) are increasing in Clark County. To date, there have been 63 deaths involving fentanyl among Clark County residents this year. In 2019, there were 28 deaths during the same time, an increase of 125%. There were 64 fentanyl deaths in 2019 and 46 deaths in 2018.

Nationally, deaths involving prescription opioids, like oxycodone and hydrocodone, have been declining, while deaths involving synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, have been increasing. This trend has been seen in Clark County.

During January-May of this year, there have been 53 deaths involving prescription opioids compared to 63 deaths involving fentanyl or fentanyl analogs. This is the first time Clark County has had more deaths involving fentanyl than prescription opioids. Some of these fentanyl-related deaths also involved prescription opioids, and the Health District will continue to monitor the trend to better understand how fentanyl is impacting opioid overdoses in the community.

“It is important for people to be aware of the growing public health risk fentanyl poses to our community. It can be fatal, and it can be found in other drugs,” said Dr. Fermin Leguen, Acting Chief Health Officer for the Southern Nevada Health District.