(WAFB) - The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is warning the public about mass quantities of counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid that is lethal in minute doses, being manufactured by Mexican drug cartels and distributed in North America.
The DEA reports fentanyl and other highly potent synthetic opioids remain the primary driver behind the ongoing opioid crisis, with fentanyl involved in more deaths than any other illicit drug. A lethal dose of fentanyl is estimated to be about two milligrams but can vary based on an individual’s body size, tolerance, amount of previous usage and other factors, according to the DEA.
“Even a small amount of fentanyl can be lethal,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brad L. Byerley. “This disturbing trend across the nation, including here in the New Orleans Field Division, of drug dealers adding fentanyl to their heroin to increase the potency and producing counterfeit pills has resulted in an alarming increase in overdoses, many of which have resulted in death. DEA will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to aggressively pursue those who ruthlessly traffic these and other dangerous drugs.”
View a closeup photo of drugs seized by the DEA below: