Number of overdoses from painkiller peak

July 24, 2008 3:40:32 PM PDT
Three years ago, doctors in Chicago started noticing a wave of overdoses of the painkiller Fentanyl. By 2006 more clusters were identified in Philadelphia, Detroit and other cities.

The Centers for Disease Control now says there were more than 1,000 overdoses.

Some deaths from illegal Fentanyl still occur, but the worst outbreak seems to have ended after authorities shut down a Fentanyl making operation in Mexico.

Fentanyl is often prescribed for cancer patients and administered through patch, but it's also a euphoria inducing narcotic 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin.

Authorities say many of the overdoses were linked to illegal drug use.


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