DEA described the highly addictive substance, which is 50 times more powerful than heroin, as the deadliest drug threat facing the U.S., while pointing out it seized more than 10,000lb (4,500kg) of fentanyl, as well as over 50.6m fentanyl pills that were made to resemble different prescription painkillers.
DEA’s laboratory tests found that six out of every 10 pills seized contained a potentially deadly dose.
In 2021, DEA also issued a public safety alert warning Americans of an increased counterfeit pill (containing fentanyl and methamphetamine) sales nationwide.
Many of these pills are made to look exactly like prescription drugs, including OxyContin, Percocet and Xanax, the DEA said.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, has spread across the United States in recent years and is the latest wave of a drug crisis that began with addictive painkillers and was followed by heroin, a New York Times article recently recalled.