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The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is warning federal, state, and local law enforcement of an impending nationwide spike in fentanyl-related “mass overdose events” and reported the amount of the drug infiltrating into the United States in 2021 was enough “to kill every American.”
“Fentanyl is killing Americans at an unprecedented rate,” DEA administrator Anne Milgram said. “Drug traffickers are driving addiction, and increasing their profits, by mixing fentanyl with other illicit drugs.”
The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the development:
Fifty-eight people have overdosed and 29 people have died in recent months in mass-fentanyl overdose incidents, the DEA said in a news release. The overdoses were reported in Wilton Manors, Fla.; Austin, Texas; Cortez, Colo.; Commerce City, Colo.; Omaha, Neb.; St. Louis; and Washington, D.C.
DEA officials said that fentanyl is “driving the nationwide overdose epidemic,” citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data that shows more than 105,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in the 12-month period ending in October 2021. Sixty-six percent of those deaths involved synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, DEA officials said.
Federal drug enforcement authorities said they are working to trace reported mass-overdose incidents back to drug traffickers in the local regions as well as international cartels that bring fentanyl over the southern border. Most of the fentanyl in the United States is manufactured by criminal networks outside of the country and sold domestically, according to the DEA.
The DEA issued a warning in September about the increase of counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl coming across the U.S. border with Mexico.
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