Fentanyl Deaths Exploding Among Children Under 14

The nonprofit Families Against Fentanyl (FAF) released a startling report showing that deaths from fentanyl poisoning are skyrocketing among children under age 14. This age group is dying at a faster rate from the deadly synthetic opioid than any other in the U.S.

FAF founder Jim Rauh defined fentanyl poisoning as coming into contact with or accidentally ingesting the drug, which has a potency 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. This contact causes the young person’s body to simply shut down.

Deaths among infants, which are children under age one, quadrupled from 2019 to 2021, more than tripled for those aged 1 to 4, and almost quadrupled for young people aged 5 to fourteen.

And since 2015, infant deaths from fentanyl poisoning surged almost 10-fold. For those between ages 1 to fourteen, the death rate exploded 15-fold.

In contrast, the national fatality rate for fentanyl doubled over the same time period.

In FAF’s new report “The Changing Faces of Fentanyl Deaths,” the advocacy group utilized data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reach its conclusions. It noted that less than 1% of fentanyl-related deaths were suicides, meaning nearly all were accidental.

Rauh, a chemical engineer who lost his 37-year-old son Tom to fentanyl poisoning, said that the mass quantity of the substance now in distribution means that more and more children are encountering it. Now, he added, “it’s creeping into the schools and other closed environments.”

Rauh declared that President Joe Biden should classify the deadly drug as a weapon of mass destruction. He also called for the administration to create a task force dedicated solely to the eradication of the scourge.

Fentanyl now ranks as the number one killer of young adults in the U.S., and more and more children are falling victim to accidental contact with the poison. Rauh said now is the time to begin reacting to this epidemic “with the urgency it deserves.”

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently announced that it seized enough of the synthetic drug in 2022 to kill every man, woman, and child in the U.S.

Fentanyl is deadly even in tiny doses, and traffickers add it to recreational drugs to increase their strength. Adding fuel to the fire are drug cartels and manufacturers, who form fentanyl into pills designed to look like regular prescription painkillers and even children’s vitamins.