I have done an analysis on the Opioid Death Toll in New Jersey from the years 1999 – 2016, although the 2016 data was only half complete and only had 6 months worth of data. I took the mean of the estimates given in the data for the total deaths as well as heroin and fentanyl related deaths.
* Source of Data: Data.World
From this graph we can see that opioid death’s weren’t categorized by substance until 2004 when heroin deaths starting to be counted. I don’t believe that dip in total deaths in 2004 to be relevant, I think the count just got more accurate with the inclusion of specific heroin deaths being taken into account. Secondly, we can see that opioid death was decreasing until 2008 and heroin related deaths were decreasing until about 2010 when fentanyl was introduced. The giant increase in opioid deaths is due to fentanyl being much stronger and deadlier than heroine. In just about 5 years fentanyl related deaths has almost matched heroin related deaths.
2017 Heroin death forecast: 993 deaths
2017 Fentanyl death forecast: 912 deaths
This makes sense because fentanyl is cheaper and more powerful then heroin so intuitively more opioid addicts will switch from heroin to Fentanyl resulting in more fentanyl overdoses.