Most overdose deaths involving illegal opioids aren’t from injection, Elizabeth Tracey reports


109,000 people is the current number for people who died of drug overdoses in 2022, with over 70% of them due to illegally manufactured fentanyl and its lookalikes, the CDC reports. Michael Fingerhood, a substance use disorder expert at Johns Hopkins, says the data also report a profound shift away from injection.

Fingerhood: When fentanyl first appeared I think people became more afraid of injection use because of the potency and there was more street lore that if you inject you're more likely to overdose and die. So I think that's what's happened and then there's also the so-called tranq, which is fentanyl with xylazine developed these terrible wounds here in Baltimore I've only seen them in people with injection use.  :26

Fingerhood says smoking, vaping or snorting the drugs are all ways to self-administer rather than injection, and all are potentially deadly. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.