TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Drug Enforcement Administration announced Tuesday that it seized more than 379 million doses of fentanyl this year.
The seizures included over 50.6 million fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills and more than 10,000 pounds of fentanyl powder.
According to the DEA, fentanyl is the deadliest drug threat facing the United States. Since the drug is a highly addictive man-made opioid, it’s 50 times more potent than heroin.
“These seizures – enough deadly doses of fentanyl to kill every American – reflect DEA’s unwavering commitment to protect Americans and save lives, by tenaciously pursuing those responsible for the trafficking of fentanyl across the United States,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said in a statement.
Since the pills are made to look identical to prescribed medications such as OxyContin, Percocet, and Xanax, the DEA warns that no pharmaceutical pill bought on social media is safe.
“The only safe medications are ones prescribed directly to you by a trusted medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist,” said the DEA.
According to the DEA, two Mexican criminal organizations, the Sinaloa and the Jalisco (CJNG) Cartels are “responsible for the fentanyl that is killing Americans today.” Administrator Milgram said it’s the agency’s “top operational priority” to defeat the two cartels.
Using chemicals sourced largely from China, the DEA said the cartels mass-produce the fentanyl in “secret factories” before shipping powder and pills to the U.S.
In 2022, the DEA stated that is seized more than double the amount of fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills that it seized in 2021.
Along with fentanyl, the DEA seized nearly 131,000 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 4,300 pounds of heroin, and over 444,00 pounds of cocaine.