Cocaine deaths up in US, and opioids are a big part of it

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials say cocaine overdose deaths have been rising.

Drug overdose deaths involving cocaine began rising around 2012, and jumped 34 percent between 2016 and 2017.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the report Thursday.

The increase at least partly reflects trends in deaths from heroin, fentanyl and other opioid drugs. Many overdose deaths involve someone who took several different drugs, and researchers found that nearly three-quarters of the deaths involving cocaine in 2017 also involved opioids.

However, the study found cocaine deaths were up even when opioids were not involved.

Health officials say about 70,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2017. Nearly 14,000 of involved cocaine. Nearly 48,000 involved some type of opioid.

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