U.S. Federal Drug Agents Seized Enough Fentanyl In 2022 To Potentially Kill Every American

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced the seizure of more than 50.6 million fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills and more than 10,000 pounds of fentanyl powder this year.

The DEA Laboratory estimates that this represent more than 379 million potentially deadly doses of fentanyl, which is enough to kill every American.

Fentanyl is the deadliest drug threat facing the United States, the DEA said in a press release publishing its year-end data. It is a highly addictive man-made opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin. Just two milligrams of fentanyl, a small amount that fits on the tip of a pencil, is considered a potentially deadly dose.

DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said the agency’s top operational priority is to defeat the two Mexican drug cartels — the Sinaloa and Jalisco (CJNG) Cartels — that are primarily responsible for the fentanyl that is killing Americans.

“Most of the fentanyl trafficked by the Sinaloa and CJNG Cartels is being mass-produced at secret factories in Mexico with chemicals sourced largely from China. In 2021, the DEA issued a Public Safety Alert on the widespread drug trafficking of fentanyl in the form of fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills. These pills are made to look identical to real prescription medications such as OxyContin, Percocet, and Xanax, but only contain filler and fentanyl and are often deadly. Fake pills are readily found on social media. 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,” the DEA said.

Last month, the DEA alerted the public to a sharp nationwide increase in the lethality of fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills. DEA laboratory testing in 2022 revealed that six out of ten fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills contained a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl. This is an increase from the DEA’s announcement in 2021 that four out of ten fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills contain a potentially deadly dose.

In 2022, the DEA seized more than double the amount of fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills that it seized in 2021. DEA also seized nearly 131,000 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 4,300 pounds of heroin, and over 444,000 pounds of cocaine.

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