D.E.A. Special agent Keith Martin of the Detroit field office says the amount of fentanyl they’re finding has jumped dramatically.
"Last year for example a seizure of 100 fentanyl pills would be a good seizure," Martin said. "Then we started seizing a thousand, then ten thousand.”
Illegally-made fentanyl mostly comes from Mexico. Drug cartels put fentanyl in counterfeit pills, often passing them off as Adderall, hydrocodone or Percocet. Even in small amounts, it can be deadly.
Law enforcement seizures of fentanyl nationwide have skyrocketed in the past few years.
A new National Institute on Drug Abuse study shows between January 2018 and December 2021, the number of fentanyl-laced pills seized by law enforcement increased nearly 50-fold.
NYU assistant professor Dr. Joseph Palamar led the research.
"A lot of people are illegally obtaining pills like Xanax and Vicodin off the street thinking that they are what they are said to be, like Xanax, but they could contain fentanyl," Palamar said.
Yearly drug deaths are the highest they have ever been.
More than 105,000 Americans died from a drug overdose from October 2020-October 2021.
With the crisis growing, emergency medicines like naloxone, also known as Narcan, grow more important.
The nasal spray blocks receptors in the body for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose.
It’s one tool in a fight that needs all the help it can get.