Cocaine overdose deaths in the United States nearly tripled from 2013 through 2018, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC found cocaine-related deaths increased by about 27% per year, on average, during that period, HealthDay reports.
“While much attention has been given to the increase in drug overdose deaths involving opioids, it’s also important to recognize that deaths involving other drugs, such as cocaine, have also increased in recent years,” said study author Dr. Holly Hedegaard, of the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
The report found that between 2014 and 2018, the rate of drug overdose deaths from cocaine and opioids rose faster than the rate from cocaine alone.
People who use cocaine should be educated on the risks of the drug being cut with fentanyl, according to Pat Aussem, Associate Vice President at the Partnership to End Addiction. “Using fentanyl test strips and having naloxone on hand are additional safety measures that could help reduce overdose deaths,” Aussem told HealthDay.