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Synthetic opioids, some of the most potent drugs, were involved in close to half of all opioid deaths in 2016 and 30% of overdose deaths overall, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Data: Journal of the American Medical Association; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

Between the lines: Prescription drugs had been the primary cause of overdose deaths — in 2011, only 6% of overdose deaths involved synthetic opioids. But now these more dangerous, often illicit drugs, primarily fentanyl, are driving the ever-rising overdose death toll.

Be smart: While prescription and synthetic opioids have grabbed the most attention in headlines and from the administration, deaths involving heroin, cocaine and even psycho-stimulants are also on the rise.

Go deeper: Opioid prescription rates dropping across the country.

Go deeper

Kids’ screen time up 50% during pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When the coronavirus lockdowns started in March, kidstech firm SuperAwesome found that screen time was up 50%. Nearly a year later, that percentage hasn't budged, according to new figures from the firm.

Why it matters: For most parents, pre-pandemic expectations around screen time are no longer realistic. The concern now has shifted from the number of hours in front of screens to the quality of screen time.

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

17 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.