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DEA: Fentanyl epidemic has become ‘crisis of historic proportions’ cause of 44 deaths every day

December 8, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
DEA: Fentanyl epidemic has become ‘crisis of historic proportions’ cause of 44 deaths every day

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New results indicate that fentanyl has grown to be the largest drug threat to the U.S., leading to the deaths of at least 44 individuals every day.

On Tuesday, the DEA’s National Drug Threat Assessment published its most recent statistics, which revealed that drug overdoses caused an estimated 129 deaths per day in 2014.

The rise of the synthetic opioid has enhanced the frequency of fatal substance abuse, as its extreme potency makes it up to 40 times more powerful than heroin.

The report also discovered that controlled prescription pills have been responsible for more fatalities than heroin and cocaine combined.

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Legendary singer Prince passed away in his home in April 2016 and was later revealed to be in possession of pills containing fentanyl

“Sadly, this report reconfirms that opioids such as heroin and fentanyl – and diverted prescription pain pills – are killing people in this country at a horrifying rate,” Acting Administrator Rosenberg stated.

Rosenberg added: “We face a public health crisis of historic proportions. Countering it requires a comprehensive approach that includes law enforcement, education, and treatment.”

Fentanyl is typically smuggled into the U.S. and is mixed into heroin or pills, often without the user’s knowledge.

A myriad of high-profile overdoses stemming from opioid use has brought the issue to the spotlight over the past year.

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Ohio police sparked controversy by posting this photo of two parents passed out from an opioid overdose while driving with their child in the back seat

Pop superstar Prince died of a fentanyl overdose this past April. Authorities recovered pills from his home containing the lethal drug – which suggests that he purchased the pills illegally.

Authorities in Ohio ignited controversy by posting a picture of two parents passed out from an opioid overdose with their child in the backseat.

They justified their actions by displaying hope that it would raise awareness to the overwhelming prevalence of opioid abuse in the U.S.

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25-year-old mother Erika Hurt was found unconscious in her vehicle while her daughter was in the backseat after overdosing and is seen here with a syringe still in hand

The horrific trend extended to Indiana when a 25-year-old mother was discovered unconscious with a syringe in her hand while her daughter sat in the backseat.

The DEA report also notes that the rise of fentanyl also corresponds with another substance, carfentanil, which reportedly has 10,000 times the potency compared to morphine.

Drug cartels in Mexico continue to be the largest hub for importing illegal substances across the border and are the leading suppliers for cocaine, meth, and heroin.

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