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New Hampshire officials confirm 286 drug deaths in 2016

At least 286 people have died of drug overdoses in New Hampshire this year, according to statistics released Monday by the state’s office of the chief medical examiner. The causes of another 89 deaths await results from toxicology testing.

Officials’ latest projection, that 488 people will have died from overdoses by year’s end, has been adjusted slightly upward from last month’s prediction of 480.

Opioids continue to account for the vast majority of the state’s confirmed drug deaths — 245 — with fentanyl (used either alone or in combination with another drug) the culprit in the lion’s share of them.

The latest state data also show that 27 deaths have been tied to fentanyl analogs, or substances with a slightly different chemical makeup that mimic a drug’s effects. At least 25 people this year have died after using acetyl fentanyl, an analog a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration fact sheet from July 2015 says “has been linked to a number of overdose deaths in the United States.”

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One New Hampshire death this year has been attributed to furanyl fentanyl, the subject of a September article on Forbes.com. The report, by contributor David Kroll, notes the Drug Enforcement Administration’s intention to place furanyl fentanyl temporarily on the Schedule 1 list of controlled substances.

A third analog, linked with one death in the Granite State this year, is U-47700. In June, The Associated Press said that drug has been connected with at least 50 deaths across the United States.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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