The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is warning the public about a “significant nationwide boom” in potentially deadly counterfeit prescription pills.
In a rare public safety alert issued Monday, the DEA says Americans are being killed at an “unprecedented rate” by bullets manufactured in laboratories and deceptively sold by criminal networks. According to the federal Counternarcotics Agency, those pills disguised as legitimate prescription drugs, but contain lethal amounts of fentanyl.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid similar to morphine but 50 to 100 times more potent. While fentanyl may be prescribed by doctors in rare cases of chronic pain, its main distribution is through illegal channels.
The DEA says more than 9.5 million counterfeit pills have been seized so far in 2021, which is more than the total number of pills seized in the past two years; And laboratory testing shows a dramatic increase in the number of tablets containing at least two milligrams of fentanyl, which is considered a lethal dose.
Counterfeit pills are made to look like real prescription opioid drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and alprazolam; or stimulants such as amphetamine, warns the DEA. Tablets are often sold on social media and other online platforms, making them available to anyone with a smartphone, including children.
According to the alert, most counterfeit pills brought into the United States are produced in Mexico, and China is supplying chemicals to manufacture fentanyl in Mexico.
“The United States is facing an unprecedented crisis of overdose deaths fueled by illegally manufactured fentanyl and methamphetamine,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said in a press release. Dosage.
“The DEA is focusing resources on violent drug traffickers causing the greatest harm and greatest threat to the safety and health of Americans. Today we are alerting the public to this threat so that people have Have the information you need to protect yourself and your children.
The DEA has not issued such a nationwide alert in the last six years. The most recent one, issued in March 2015, warned Americans of a huge increase in fentanyl overdoses, saying that DEA agents were seeing an alarming amount of heroin with fentanyl.
Chemical flows from China have fueled the fentanyl crisis in the United States, according to a report (PDF) by the Congressional US-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
“China is a global source of fentanyl and other illegal substances because the country’s vast chemical and pharmaceutical industries are poorly controlled and poorly monitored,” the commission noted in its February 2017 report. “Chinese law enforcement officials have struggled to adequately regulate the thousands of chemical and pharmaceutical facilities operating legally and illegally in the country, leading to an increase in the production and export of illegal chemicals and drugs.”
“Chinese chemical exporters use a variety of methods to secretly ship drugs to the Western Hemisphere, including sending illegal ingredients through a range of forwarding systems, misdirecting drug shipments, and modifying chemicals. so that they are not controlled in the United States,” it added.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times