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Unsuspecting Americans Dying From Fake Pills With Fentanyl, DEA Says

2 milligrams of fentanyl, a lethal dose for most people.
2 milligrams of fentanyl, a lethal dose for most people. Photo Credit: Drug Enforcement Administration

The US Drug Enforcement Administration is alerting the public of a sharp nationwide increase in potentially deadly fake prescription pills laced with fentanyl.

DEA laboratory testing revealed that six out of 10 fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills now contain a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl.

That's an increase from the DEA’s previous announcement in 2021 that four out of 10 fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills were found to contain a potentially lethal dose.

“This marks a dramatic increase – from four out of ten to six out of ten – in the number of pills that can kill,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. 

The pills are being mass-produced by the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco Cartel in Mexico, Milgram said.

"Never take a pill that wasn’t prescribed directly to you," Milgram noted. "Never take a pill from a friend. Never take a pill bought on social media. Just one pill is dangerous and one pill can kill.”

Fentanyl is a highly addictive synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. 

Just two milligrams of fentanyl, the small amount that fits on the tip of a pencil, is considered a potentially deadly dose. (See the image above.)

For more information on fentanyl from the Drug Enforcement Administration, click here.

To access the DEA's "One Pill Can Kill" page, click here.

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