Over 379 million deadly doses of fentanyl were seized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) this year.
This is “enough deadly doses of fentanyl to kill every American,” according to the DEA. It is also double the amount seized last year.
“Fentanyl is the deadliest drug threat facing this country,” the DEA said.
What is fentanyl?
Fentanyl is an opioid, which is a type of pain-relieving drug. It can be prescribed by doctors to legitimately treat pain.
However, it can also be manufactured for use in the illegal drug market.
Fentanyl has been known to be mixed with other drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, and MDMA.
The DEA considers just two milligrams of fentanyl enough to be deadly, and has said it is 50 times more powerful than heroin.
Where is it coming from?
The DEA said that two Mexican drug cartels were “primarily responsible” for the fentanyl being trafficked into the U.S.
It’s believed the fentanyl – made to look like legitimate prescription medication – is being produced at secret factories in Mexico, with chemicals imported from China.
Tests from the DEA this year found six out of ten fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills contained a potentially lethal amount of fentanyl.