DEA launches awareness campaign on illegal fentanyl


Drug overdose deaths topped 100,000 this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a grim number that exceeds the number of people who have died from car crashes and gun violence combined. The main culprit is illegally manufactured fentanyl, which experts say can be 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.

“Fentanyl is currently the root cause of the overdose epidemic we are seeing in the United States,” anti-drug administrator Anne Milgram told “Face the Nation” host Margaret. Brennan. “Fentanyl is a different drug threat than we’ve seen before. It’s synthetic, which means it’s man-made. It’s made of chemicals.”

Milgram spoke exclusively to Brennan this week, as she promoted the DEA’s One Pill Can Kill campaign to raise awareness about the overdose epidemic. Milgram announced this week that DEA agents seized an unprecedented amount of fentanyl and fake prescription pills containing the deadly chemical.

Deaths from fentanyl have nearly doubled since 2019, CDC data shows. The DEA says drug traffickers are now in homes and in their pockets, as the drugs are readily available to order on any smartphone.

“We know every day across America that drugs are sold on these social media sites Snapchat, TikTok, Facebook.” said Milgram.

Drug dealers exploit social media because it’s accessible. They can reach millions of Americans,” Milgram told Brennan. “And it’s anonymous, and they are able to sell these bogus pills that are not who they say they are.”

Many chemicals used in the production of fentanyl are “from China,” Milgram said. “They go to the Mexican drug cartels which then mass produce, often on an industrial scale.”

Drug dealers have put fentanyl in other drugs, making it difficult to tell which pills can be fatal.

“We see traffickers and drug networks doing now is mixing other drugs with fentanyl,” says Milgram. “They put cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin.” She noted a case in Connecticut where even marijuana was mixed with fentanyl.

“We have to help people understand that a pill can kill,” Milgram said.

According to Milgram, these bogus pills are produced at astronomical rates. His agency confiscated 20 million fake pills this year alone. The DEA seizes more than ever in the United States, as well as loose fentanyl powder, which is used to hammer in fake prescription pills to make them more potent. The administration has so far seized 15,000 pounds of fentanyl powder this year – enough to kill all Americans.

Watch more of the interview with DEA ​​administrator Anne Milgram on “Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan” this Sunday, December 19 on CBS.


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