Even in best-case scenario, opioid overdose deaths will keep rising until 2022

Finally, this scenario assumes that progress in fighting the opioid epidemic won’t get blown up by some unforeseen trend, such as the appearance of a new and more lethal drug. In a market where illicit drugmakers are richly rewarded for introducing new products, narcotics such as the synthetic fentanyl — more addictive or more lethal than opioids already on the market — can appear seemingly out of nowhere.

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