The synthetic drug, fentanyl, has surpassed heroin as the most dying drug in the United States, taking more than 18,000 lives in 2016, federal health officials said on Wednesday.
In 2016, the latest year with full data available is that "29 per cent of all deaths related to drug overdose have mentioned fentanyl contribution," said the report from the National Center for Statistics Health, part of USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Fentanyl is a powerful, synthetic narcotics that was blamed for rock star deaths, including the Prince and Tom Petty.
It works on the brain such as morphine or heroin, but it's 50 to 100 times more strong, and can easily lead to oversight.
The drug overdose death rate in the United States has trebled between 1999 and 2016, as the nation is scrutinizing with a continuous opioid epidemic.
Fentanyl drug overdose deaths have doubled each year from 2013 to 2016, "from 0.6 per 100,000 in 2013 to 1.3 in 2014, 2.6 in 2015, and 5.9 in 2016," said the report.
Meanwhile, deaths of heroin and methamphetamamin are more than tripling between 2011 and 2016.
Heroin was the leading cause of drug overdose death from 2012 to 2015, the report said.
The highest Oxycodone prescription drug was in 2011.
Cocaine is listed constantly either secondly or third in most slaughtered drugs, and then methamphetamine.