Highly addictive fentanyl killing Americans at alarming rate, DEA says

The DEA marks May 10 as National Fentanyl Awareness Day to try to change statistics

Fentanyl awarness day shows concern in rising cases

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The number of people dying as a result of an overdose is growing.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Americans ages 18-45 are dying of overdoses more than anything else. Many of those deaths are attributed to fentanyl.

That’s why the DEA is marking Tuesday, May 10, as the first National Fentanyl Awareness Day to make sure people understand the dangers of fentanyl use.

The DEA says one way to get the conversation going is through social media. It’s encouraging people to use the hashtag #NationalFentanylAwarenessDay.

The scary thing is, the DEA says not only is fentanyl inexpensive, widely available, and highly addictive, but a lot of times, people aren’t even aware they took it.

Drug dealers and traffickers often mix fentanyl with other drugs, in both powder and pill form, to create repeat customers. Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.

When prescribed by a licensed medical professional, fentanyl can be used to treat chronic pain.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, nearly 107,000 people died as a result of a drug overdose in the 12-month period ending November 2021. And 66% of overdose deaths involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

The number of deaths attributed to synthetic opioids has increased steadily over the years.

To commemorate National Fentanyl Awareness Day, the DEA has created a special exhibit in its museum, Faces of Fentanyl, to showcase lives lost due to fentanyl poisoning. People can submit photos of loved ones to fentanylawareness@dea.gov.

For more information on the dangers of fentanyl, you can visit the National Fentanyl Awareness Day website.

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.