Law Enforcement Seizures of Pills Containing Fentanyl Increase Dramatically

Regulation Enforcement Seizures of Capsules Containing Fentanyl Improve Dramatically


Heavy armed police

Picture by dstephens/


A latest and alarming growth in drug trafficking has dramatically elevated the chance for addicts. As a approach to capitalize on the rising recognition of addictive prescription ache relievers, clandestine drug labs are actually making counterfeit drugs, urgent the drugs with machines to make the drugs appear to be extremely wanted pharmaceutical medicine, however lacing the medicine with fentanyl for additional efficiency.

Addicts who get these medicine on the black market don’t have any approach of realizing if the medicine have fentanyl in them. Addicts might imagine they’re getting Purdue-manufactured OxyContin when actually they’re getting a counterfeit tablet laced with fentanyl, a drug way more potent than OxyContin. As a result of the addict thinks they’re shopping for OxyContin, they take as a lot of the drug as they’re used to taking, for OxyContin. However provided that fentanyl is considerably stronger, the drug they really ingest overwhelms the addict’s tolerance for opioids, the addict overdoses, and dies.

The unfold of fentanyl into the drug provide has been deadly for 1000’s of addicts. It’s recognized that illicit fentanyl has been the supply of many drug-related deaths from coroner toxicology stories. However we additionally know that fentanyl has unfold like wildfire throughout the U.S. because of regulation enforcement seizures of illicit drug provides.

Lethal dose of Fentanyl

Deadly dose of fentanyl.
Picture courtesy of


What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is an especially potent opioid drug. It was meant just for very particular medical functions, similar to for most cancers sufferers, and sufferers who had grow to be bodily tolerant to different opioids (which means these opioids not had a pain-relieving impact on them, necessitating one thing stronger like fentanyl). Sadly, fentanyl’s utility has been considerably broadened to incorporate many different functions. This growth is regarding as a result of the additional afield that fentanyl is utilized to the overall inhabitants, the extra Individuals are uncovered to it, and the extra Individuals will grow to be hooked on it.

Fentanyl is sort of just like morphine, however 50 to 100 instances stronger. It reacts on the mind in an analogous approach as different opioids. Fentanyl is extraordinarily addictive, and since the drug is so potent, it might very simply trigger an overdose.

Current Updates from Regulation enforcement

In line with latest analysis printed within the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence and reported in Nationwide Institute on Drug Abuse press releases, seizures of batches of illegally produced fentanyl elevated dramatically between 2018 and 2021. It’s essential to notice that regulation enforcement businesses are seizing batches of illegally produced fentanyl made by clandestine drug labs, not fentanyl made by pharmaceutical corporations. Sadly, shortly after pharma corporations launched fentanyl as a extremely potent opioid for Individuals with sure medical situations, drug cartels quickly discovered how one can copy the drug and make it (or variations of it) in their very own labs.

Counterfeit OxyContin and Heroin
Counterfeit OxyContin and Heroin. Picture courtesy of

In line with latest stories, the variety of particular person fentanyl-laced drugs seized by regulation enforcement elevated practically 50-fold from 2018 to 2021. Moreover, the proportion of seized drugs that include fentanyl greater than doubled throughout that interval, suggesting illicit fentanyl is spreading into a bigger and bigger share of the illicit drug provide.

This information is extraordinarily regarding as a result of if the development will not be halted, extra medicine will grow to be tainted with illicit fentanyl, placing much more addicts at severe danger. And this isn’t only a downside for counterfeit opioid drugs. Already, there are stories of fentanyl being laced into meth and cocaine, with some stories even indicating that fentanyl has been present in batches of marijuana.

Seized fentanyl pills.
Variety of Capsules Containing Fentanyl Seized by Regulation Enforcement in U.S., 2018–2021. Supply:

In line with the analysis, regulation enforcement groups throughout the nation carried out 68 seizures of fentanyl-laced drugs in 2019 and 635 such seizures in 2021. Additional, the full variety of fentanyl-laced drugs seized rose dramatically throughout that interval, from 42,202 drugs seized in 2018 to 2,089,186 drugs seized in 2021. Seizures of fentanyl-laced powder additionally elevated, from 424 seizures in 2018 to 1,539 seizures in 2021. The overall weight of the seized powders elevated from 298.2 kg in 2018 to 2,416 kg in 2021.

“A rise in illicit drugs containing fentanyl factors to a brand new and more and more harmful interval in the USA.”

A dose of fentanyl as small as two milligrams may be deadly. The drug is 50 instances stronger than heroin and 100 instances stronger than morphine. Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the Nationwide Institute on Drug Abuse, put out an announcement warning the American public of the intense hurt that addicts put themselves in after they use medicine, provided that any drug may now include a deadly dose of fentanyl. “A rise in illicit drugs containing fentanyl factors to a brand new and more and more harmful interval in the USA. Capsules are sometimes taken or snorted by people who find themselves extra naïve to drug use and who’ve decrease tolerances. When a tablet is contaminated with fentanyl, as is now typically the case, poisoning can simply happen.”

The Want for Therapy

The shifting traits of drug habit in America level to at least one extraordinarily regarding reality. Though it’s all the time been harmful, utilizing medicine is significantly extra harmful now. At this time, addicts run the chance of overdosing on fentanyl each time they take a tablet that they didn’t get from a pharmacy. Even medicine that many addicts assume are “protected,” like hashish, could possibly be laced with fentanyl.

Greater than something, these developments point out the essential want for habit remedy. Although the efforts of regulation enforcement to grab batches of illicit fentanyl laced into counterfeit drugs are laudable, regulation enforcement groups won’t ever be capable of seize all unlawful medicine. Individuals who endure from drug habit at the moment should search assist at certified drug and alcohol rehab facilities as quickly as potential. Their lives rely upon it.

If you realize somebody hooked on medicine, please assist them enter a certified residential drug remedy heart as quickly as potential.


Reviewed by Claire Pinelli, ICAADC, ICCS, LADC, RAS, MCAP, LCDC


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