Fentanyl Statistics in California

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Statistics reveal a need for the solution to homelessness also address the flow of fentanyl into those communities and now freely entering into the high schools of Los Angeles.

USC Annenberg has a different slant on fentanyl death statistics. A solution by way of legislating Narcan. New USC analysis reveals Fentanyl related deaths doubling in LA county 

A 2022 Public Health study pre and post pandemic of the homeless population (2019/2021) suggests:  Homeless_Mortality_Report_2022.pdf (lacounty.gov)

  • Fentanyl was the second leading contributor to OD deaths in both years, but its contribution increased considerably from 27% of deaths in the pre-pandemic year to 45% of deaths in the post-pandemic onset year. Heroin was the third leading contributor to OD deaths in the pre-pandemic year (20%)
  • The only drug with an increase in the percentage of OD deaths for which it was the sole contributor was fentanyl, which contributed exclusively to 2% of deaths in the pre-pandemic year and 5% of deaths in the post-pandemic onset year.
  • The contribution of fentanyl to OD deaths was greater among younger versus older age groups for both years, with 76% of OD deaths among those aged 18-29 involving fentanyl in the post-pandemic onset year (Figure 5). Nevertheless, the relative increase in the contribution of fentanyl was greater for the older age groups, with the percentage of OD deaths involving fentanyl doubling among those aged 50-64 and 65+ from the pre-to post-pandemic onset year.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests  PowerPoint Presentation (lacounty.gov)
• The number of heroin overdose-related deaths increased by
129% from 2016 to 2020.
• As fentanyl is increasingly mixed with heroin in the US,
heroin overdose-related deaths increasingly involved synthetic
opioids (primarily fentanyl).


LA County Sheriff cited 2020 statistics via the US DEA as

2020: 1,173 deats involved

Drug Enforcement Administration, in 2020, Los Angeles County had a significant increase in opioid deaths. 1,173 deaths involved fentanyl. As of May 2021, there were 567 deaths in Los Angeles County


LiveStories has compiled statistics for 2018 concerning Los Angeles fentanyl deaths as well as visual aids to demonstrate the dramatic increases: Los Angeles County Fentanyl Death Statistics | LiveStories

Deaths per 100k (221 deaths in total for LA County ) - per the CDC

  • LA County     2.17  
  • California      2.12 
  • United States 9.88

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) details 
Fentanyl the top cause of death among U.S. adults (ages 18-45) between 2018 - 2020 - 2020

  • 19% rate of death from fentanyl between 2018-2020
    • Based on 100,000 adults who died of drug overdoses
    • 19,400  died after overdosing on fentanyl. 
  • 70% percent of all drug deaths are the result of a fentanyl overdose.
    • 37,208 fentanyl deaths in 2020
    • 41,587 in 2021 – an increase of almost 12 percent. 
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