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Reported Law Enforcement Encounters Testing Positive for Fentanyl Increase Across US

The number of states reporting large numbers of fentanyl encounters substantially increased from 2014 to 2015, with 8 states reporting more than 500 encounters in 2015 compared to 2 states in 2014 and 0 states in 2013.

Data indicates:

  • The number of fentanyl encounters more than doubled in the US from 5,343 in 2014 to 13,882 in 2015.
  • 13 states reported that fentanyl encounters grew by 100 or more from 2014 to 2015, with rapid increases reported in the Northeast (New Hampshire and Massachusetts) and Midwest (Ohio) and with additional patterns developing in the South [Map: Change in Reported Law Enforcement Fentanyl Encounters 2014-2015].
  • 2015 Rates of fentanyl encounters per 100,000 state residents identified states with higher levels of fentanyl supply per resident. Extremely high rates (>20) were found for Ohio, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts [Map: 2015 Fentanyl Encounters Rate].
  • The steady increase in fentanyl encounters from 2013 to 2015 indicates that the supply of fentanyl, primarily illicitly-made fentanyl,iicontinues to increase primarily east of the Mississippi with small increases west of the Mississippi.

Let’s Talk More About It at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit

April 17-20, 2017 | Atlanta, GA
The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta

Session Spotlight:
Fentanyl: Trends, Responses and Paths Forward

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 | 3:15 – 5:00pm


This presentation will compare national and state trends from 2013 to 2015 in fentanyl law enforcement seizures (FS), rate of fentanyl prescriptions, and synthetic opioid-involved (excluding methadone) overdose deaths (SOD). Preliminary findings indicate a relationship between the national SOD rate and FS from 2013-2014. Geographic patterns suggest a growing problem among states particularly in the Northeast and Midwest, with emerging problems in the South. The researchers will discuss the need for timely surveillance, increased collaboration between public health and public safety, targeted intervention approaches, and community access to naloxone.