DEA Issues Warning on U.S. Fentanyl Influx of 2021: ‘Enough to Kill Every American’

This illustration image shows tablets of opioid painkiller Oxycodon delivered on medical prescription taken on September 18, 2019 in Washington,DC. - Millions of Americans sank into addiction after using potent opioid painkillers that the companies churned out and doctors freely prescribed over the past two decades. Well over 400,000 people …

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.”

A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) chemist checks confiscated powder containing fentanyl at the DEA Northeast Regional Laboratory on October 8, 2019 in New York. - According to US government data, about 32,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2018. That accounts for 46 percent of all fatal overdoses. Fentanyl, a powerful painkiller approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for a range of conditions, has been central to the American opioid crisis which began in the late 1990s. (Photo by Don EMMERT / AFP) (Photo by DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images)

A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) chemist checks confiscated powder containing fentanyl at the DEA Northeast Regional Laboratory on October 8, 2019, in New York. (Photo by DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images)

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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