The DEA Is Warning Of A Rise In Overdose Deaths From Fake Drugs Laced With Fentanyl

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A patch containing the active ingredient fentanyl is shown by a pharmacist. The painkiller fentanyl, which can be up to 100 times stronger than heroin, is a growing cause of overdose deaths in the U.S., according to the DEA.

Carsten Rehder/dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images

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Carsten Rehder/dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images

Street Fentanyl Surges In Western U.S., Leading To Thousands Of Deaths

«The United States is facing an unprecedented crisis of overdose deaths fueled by illegally manufactured fentanyl and methamphetamine,» DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said. «Counterfeit pills that contain these dangerous and extremely addictive drugs are more lethal and more accessible than ever before.»

The last time the agency issued such a public safety alert was in 2015 when it warned of a sharp increase on the street of fentanyl-laced heroin.

Health Care
Drug Overdoses Killed A Record Number Of Americans In 2020, Jumping By Nearly 30%

The latest warning comes amid an ongoing epidemic of drug overdoses in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 93,000 Americans died from a drug overdose last year — more than ever before.

«Fentanyl, the synthetic opioid most commonly found in counterfeit pills, is the primary driver of this alarming increase in overdose deaths,» the DEA said.

This alert doesn’t only apply to fake opioid medications. DEA officials said a knockoff version of the stimulant Adderall is being sold on the black market laced with methamphetamines.

The alert issued Monday doesn’t apply to legally prescribed and dispensed legitimate pharmaceutical medications, the DEA said.

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