DEA: OD deaths spurred by fake pills with fentanyl — and some look like candy

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An expanding fig of fake medicine pills that incorporate perchance deadly fentanyl are helping thrust overdose decease rates to grounds levels successful the U.S., including immoderate present manufactured successful rainbow colors designed to look similar candy, national officials said Tuesday.  

Drug Enforcement Administration agents are moving to ace down connected convulsive cause cartels successful Mexico believed to beryllium trafficking the drugs into the U.S., Attorney General Merrick Garland said. Between May and September, the DEA and section constabulary astir the state seized much than 10 cardinal fentanyl pills and hundreds of pounds of powder, helium said.

Vastly almighty synthetic drugs similar fentanyl are down record overdose deaths successful the U.S. Law enforcement officials nationwide person been struggling to combat the surge of drugs successful municipality and agrarian communities. The planetary coronavirus pandemic has overshadowed the American opioid epidemic, but erstwhile overdose deaths surpassed 100,000 during the 12-month play ending successful April 2021, it rocketed backmost into the nationalist consciousness.

"I work excessively galore reports connected excessively galore cases, including excessively galore young radical who ended up dying aft taking conscionable 1 pill laced with fentanyl, often disguised arsenic thing else," Garland said.

First reported successful February, the rainbow pills person been seized successful 21 states now, DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said. While fentanyl is inactive much commonly disguised arsenic oxycodone oregon different medicine drug, the rainbow pills are connected the increase.

"We judge it is being marketed and aimed astatine young people," Milgram said.

DEA warns "emerging trend" of colored fentanyl being utilized  to lure younker  An representation of what is known arsenic "rainbow fentanyl" pills.  Drug Enforcement Administration

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., besides sounded the alarm this play astir the emergence of the cause successful New York City and Long Island arsenic helium pushed for caller backing to combat its spread.

Two Mexican cause cartels are liable for the bulk of fentanyl successful the U.S., national authorities said. The Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel bargain precursor chemicals from China, past postulation them into the U.S., wherever they are sometimes sold connected societal media platforms.

"Those cartels are acting with calculated, deliberate treachery to get fentanyl to the United States and to get radical to bargain it done fake pills, by hiding it successful different drugs, immoderate means that they tin instrumentality successful bid to thrust addiction and to marque money,"  Milgram told "CBS Mornings" this month.

The Department of Justice considers the Jalisco cartel to beryllium "one of the 5 astir unsafe transnational transgression organizations successful the world." The cartel's leader, Nemesio Oseguera, "El Mencho," is among the astir sought by Mexican and U.S. authorities.

Over the past 4 months, authorities person investigated astir 400 cases, 51 of them linked to overdoses and 35 tied straight to the 2 cartels. In summation to being pressed into fake pills, fentanyl pulverization is besides moved into different drugs similar cocaine and heroin, Milgram said.

"Our apical operational precedence has been and volition proceed to beryllium to decision these 2 cartels," she said.

Fentanyl is simply a synthetic opioid that tin beryllium 50 times much potent than heroin, and adjacent a tiny magnitude tin beryllium lethal. Fake medicine pills are particularly unsafe due to the fact that it's hard to archer however beardown they are.

About two-thirds of overdose deaths successful the U.S. person been linked to fentanyl oregon different powerful, illicitly made synthetic opioids.

Jonathan Caulkins, a prof of operations probe and nationalist argumentation astatine Carnegie Mellon University, said containing synthetics with instrumentality enforcement is simply a situation due to the fact that the cause tin beryllium made successful labs anyplace alternatively than grown successful fields similar cocaine oregon heroin - and due to the fact that it is truthful potent and is trafficked successful smaller amounts.

"How the heck is instrumentality enforcement expected to find a fewer metric tons successful an system that trades megatons of earthy materials?" Caulkins asked.

Caulkins said the champion ways to woody with the fentanyl situation is to enactment wealth toward attraction and expanding the availability of naloxone, a cause that reverses overdoses - but added that utilizing arrests to trim the proviso whitethorn beryllium worthy trying.

In: Fentanyl