Fentanyl and other synthetic drugs are causing record overdoses in the United States – WSB-TV Channel 2

ATLANTA — The CDC says drug overdoses in the United States have reached an all-time high.

According to CDC data, nearly 108,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2021. The data shows the number of overdose deaths each year between 1999 and 2021, except for the year 2018.

Channel 2’s Blair Miller in Washington, DC spoke with DEA ​​officials to find out just how serious this is.

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Jarod Forget heads the local DEA office in Washington, DC. He said he had never seen such a deadly drug.

“In all my years with the DEA, I have never seen the drug so deadly. Fentanyl is one of the deadliest drugs we see in our business. It kills a lot of Americans. That covers all the data demographics,” Forget said.

He added that fentanyl is by far the biggest challenge the DEA currently faces with communities around the world.

Last year, about 2/3 of deaths involved fentanyl or other synthetic opioids. One of the biggest hurdles, according to DEA agents, was counterfeit pills.

“We see a lot of pills that are branded as oxy 30 Adderall, Xanax, whereas at the DEA we can’t tell the difference,” Forget said. “But it’s actually a deadly fentanyl pill that looks exactly like an oxy 30.”

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The DEA said that when talking with children, the message must be more than just drug avoidance.

“Don’t take pills unless it’s somehow from your doctor, don’t take pills from friends, you have to tell your kids about pills. That’s, that’s the threat,” Forget said.

Another DEA agent, Michael Rosemond, said the DEA realizes that this issue is a top priority.

“That’s priority number one, we realize, and you know, our administrator realizes how unprecedented the amount of fentanyl that’s pouring into this country is right now,” Rosemond said.

DEA agents said this problem is not expected to go away quickly.

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