Fentanyl Deaths in L.A. County Soared 1,280% from 2016-2021

The number of overdose deaths attributed to the synthetic opioid fentanyl increased 1,280%, in Los Angeles County over a five-year period ending in 2021, according to report released Tuesday by the county Department of Public Health.

  • The report found 109 deaths attributed to fentanyl overdose in the county in 2016, with the number increasing to 1,504 in 2021.
  • Between 2016 and 2020, visits to hospital emergency rooms due to fentanyl overdoses increased by 308%, going from 133 to 542, according to the report.
  • White residents accounted for the most 2021 overdose deaths, but black residents had the highest rate of deaths based on the population, at 30.6 per 100,000 residents – compared to 22.5  for white residents and 11.1 for while Latino and Latina residents.