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Dangerous opioid found in syringes.

Fentanyl is common in syringes of drug users, research in December's AJPH finds.

Researchers set out to measure the risk of fentanyl exposure in a syringe exchange program in New York City during four months in 2017. They found that 17 percent contained fentanyl or a fentanyl compound.

Fentanyl has become a national health problem. In 2015, the drug caused 16 percent of overdose deaths in New York City, the researchers said. In 2016, the rate jumped almost threefold, with 44 percent of drug overdoses in the city linked to it.

The synthetic opioid is more potent than morphine and was involved in 29 percent of fatal U.S. overdoses in 2016, according to a December report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine are often laced with fentanyl by drug dealers to increase potency.

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Title Annotation:JOURNAL WATCH: Highlights from the December issue of APHA's American Journal of Public Health; American Public Health Association
Author:Barna, Mark
Publication:The Nation's Health
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2019
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