US opioid epidemic: Study warns about ‘third wave’ of fentanyl

A new study has revealed troubling trends in the opioid epidemic of the United States. It says the situation has moved into a deadlier “third wave”.

Men are dying from opioid overdoses at three times the rate of women and overdose deaths are rising faster among black people and Latino Americans, according to the study published on Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC says it began with the rise in prescription pain medications such as OxyContin. The second wave was that of heroin, which was used as a substitute for expensive opioid pills. The third wave involves powerful synthetic drug fentanyl.

Al Jazeera’s John Hendren reports from Chicago.

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