The death rate among African Americans from fentanyl-involved drug overdoses rose 141 percent each year, on average, from 2011 to 2016, the study showed, with a particularly dramatic spike starting in 2014. The death rate for Hispanics rose 118 percent in that period every year on average, and 61 percent for non-Hispanic whites. The CDC did not have reliable data on Asian Americans and Native Americans.
Overdoses related to fentanyl — which is often mixed with heroin, cocaine and other drugs — remain more common among non-Hispanic whites, about 7.7 deaths per 100,000 annually, compared to a death rate of 5.6 for blacks and 2.5 for Hispanics. But the report’s lead author, Merianne Rose Spencer, a health statistician for the CDC’s Center for Health Statistics, pointed to the change in death rates as the most significant revelation.