OMAHA, Nebraska — Millions of lethal doses of fentanyl were seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration Omaha Division across five states, including Iowa, this year.
The DEA said they seized nearly 4.7 million doses in both pill and powder form from Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa. Nationally the DEA seized more than 379 million doses in a 12 month span.
According to the DEA, they seized enough lethal doses of fentanyl to kill every American. DEA Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Justin C. King said the amount of fentanyl confiscated this year surpassed totals from 2021.
More than 20.4 million fake pills laced with fentanyl were seized by the DEA in 2021. In 2022, the DEA seized over 50.6 million fentanyl laced pills.
“In some states, our totals tripled the amount reported in 2021,” King said. “The lethality and seriousness of this drug can’t be talked about enough.”
According to the DEA, fentanyl is a highly addictive, man-made drug that’s 50 times stronger than heroin. Two milligrams of fentanyl is considered a potentially deadly dose, the DEA said. It ties with methamphetamine as the number one drug threat in Iowa.
Most of the fentanyl seized by the DEA is found laced in fake prescription pills. These pills look identical to real medications like OxyContin, Percocet, and Xanax, and can typically be found being sold on social media.
A majority of fentanyl found in the United States is being trafficked into the country by the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation Cartel in Mexico, the DEA said. According to the DEA, the cartel is mass producing the drug in factories across Mexico.
Lab testing in 2022 performed by the DEA found that six out of ten fentanyl-laced pills contained potentially lethal doses, an increase from 2021 testing that found only four out of ten fake pills contained a potentially lethal dose.