Nearly 5,000% increase in seized fentanyl-laced pills in the US between 2018 and 2021, study says
(CNN) - A new study found the number of illicit pills containing fentanyl seized by United States law enforcement jumped a whopping 4,850% between 2018 and 2021.
According to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration data, more than 42,000 fentanyl-laced pills were seized in 2018 and nearly 2.1 million were seized in 2021.
Fentanyl can be found in counterfeit versions of drugs such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.
The rise in fentanyl seizures parallels a fatal overdose crisis driven by synthetic opioids.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse funded the study and said when a pill is contaminated with fentanyl, as is now often the case, poisoning can easily happen.
A co-author of the study said widespread education is needed about the risk of the pills that don’t come from a pharmacy. He said the immediate message is that illegally obtained pills can contain fentanyl.
The study was published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence on Thursday.
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