UPDATED 5:58 PM PT – Thursday, December 16, 2021
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says Mexican drug cartels are to thank for America’s surge in fake prescription pills laced with fentanyl. During a press conference on Thursday, the DEA added the nation’s alarming number of overdose-related deaths have been caused by cartels flooding across the border to make a profit.
“The Mexican drug networks get chemicals largely from China and then they mass produce, often in industrial labs, these deadly substances in Mexico. And then they pump this poison into the United States,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram.
Recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data showed more than 100,000 people have died from fatal drug overdoses between May of 2020 and April 2021, and the DEA said these tragic deaths are no accident. Additionally, agents seized more than 15,000 pounds of fentanyl this year and over 20 million counterfeit pills, most being laced with fentanyl.
Officials said the cartels have harnessed social media apps as the perfect tool to target people of all ages.
“Drug traffickers are using Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and other mainstream social media apps,” said Milgram. “People think that they are buying real Xanax pills, real Adderall pills, real Oxycodone, using online platforms that they trust when in reality they’re getting deadly fentanyl pills that look just like the real thing.”
The agency said these record amounts of fake pills containing fentanyl is chilling. In the meantime, they assured agents would stop at nothing to combat the cartels fueling the nations opioid epidemic and have warned Americans to remember that “one pill can kill.”