By Mary Kekatos Health Reporter For Dailymail.com
Published: 06:32 GMT, 7 January 2020 | Updated: 06:32 GMT, 7 January 2020
As many as one in three opioid overdose deaths may go uncounted by US health officials, a new study suggests.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that, between 2003 and 2017, there were about 375,000 deaths from opioids and 106,000 deaths from heroin.
But researchers from the University of South Florida found that government officials missed as many as 45 percent of deaths in the Sunshine State alone.
The team says it estimates that there were actually 33 percent more fatal opioid overdoses and 36 percent more heroin overdose across the country over the 14-year time period than previously reported.
A new study from the University of South Florida suggests that there 501,329 deaths from opioids and 146,110 deaths from heroin from 2013 to 2017, 33% more than originally reported (file image)
According to the CDC, nationwide overdose deaths topped 70,000 in 2017, a 10 percent increase from the year before.
Fentanyl, the synthetic opioid 100 times stronger than morphine, was the driving culprit, alone accounting for a 45 percent increase in deaths between 2016 and 2017.
But the researchers say that number could be much larger.
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