What is already known about this topic?
Provisional opioid-involved overdose deaths suggest slight declines from 2017 to 2018, contrasting with sharp increases during 2014–2017 driven by fentanyl overdose deaths.
What is added by this report?
From July–December 2017 to January–June 2018 in 25 states, opioid deaths decreased 5% overall and decreased for prescription opioids and illicit synthetic opioids excluding illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF). However, IMF deaths increased by 11%. Benzodiazepines, cocaine, or methamphetamine were present in 63% of opioid deaths.
What are the implications for public health practice?
Continued increases in IMF deaths highlight the need to broaden outreach to persons at high risk for IMF overdoses and improve linkage to risk-reduction services and evidence-based treatment. Prevention and treatment efforts should attend to broad polysubstance use/misuse.