Fentanyl overdose death report finds risk for Hispanic residents is growing

PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — Six years ago, fentanyl overdoses caused fewer than three deaths each month in Multnomah County. By 2022, more than 22 people died from fentanyl overdoses each month. Preliminary data for 2023 shows that on average, at least one Multnomah County resident died of a fentanyl overdose each day.

new report from the Multnomah County Health Department’s Community Epidemiology Services Team shows that fentanyl is disproportionately killing men, people in their late 30s and early 40s, Black and African-American people and Indigenous Oregonians.

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Data from 2018 to 2022 showed Hispanic and Asian people in Multnomah County were less likely to die from a fentanyl overdose than whites or other groups.

But between 2021 and 2022, the local rate of fatal fentanyl overdoses among Hispanic people more than tripled. The two-year comparison “can help us understand what groups might be moving towards increasing inequity and risk,” Epidemiology Manager Emily Mosites said.

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The rise in prescription opioid overdose deaths started across the country in the late 1990s. Fatal opioid overdoses rose steadily for a decade, primarily driven by overdoses on common prescription opioids like OxyContin and Vicodin.

Read more at PortlandTribune.com.

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