US law enforcement has seized enough fentanyl to kill all Americans by 2022, the Drug Enforcement Administration said on Tuesday, highlighting the profound threat posed by man-made opioids this death.
The DEA said it seized 50.6 million counterfeit fentanyl-laced prescription pills and 10,000 pounds of fentanyl powder during the year, equivalent to “more than 379 million potentially lethal doses.”
DEA said fentanylwhich caused only a fraction of drug overdose deaths a decade ago, is now “the deadliest drug threat this country faces”.
“It’s a highly addictive man-made opiate that’s 50 times stronger than heroin. Just two milligrams of fentanyl, an amount the size of a pencil tip, is considered a potentially lethal dose,” it said.
It is the main reason for more than 107,000 drug overdose deaths worldwide. USA from July 2021 to June 2022, according to official data.
Because of its low price and relative ease of production, fentanyl has replaced opium and prescription heroin in the illicit drug market.
The DEA says the main sources of fentanyl in the United States are the Mexican drug cartels Sinaloa and Jalisco.
According to the DEA, their fentanyl is made in Mexico with chemicals “mostly of Chinese origin”.
Some are widely distributed as fake prescriptions medicine like Percocet, OxyContin and Xanax, they said.
About 60 percent of the counterfeit fentanyl drugs tested by the DEA contained potentially lethal doses of fentanyl, the report said.