The Houston Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently stated that the amount of fentanyl they seized over the course of 2022 was enough to cause 7 million fatal overdoses.
According to the agency, that is enough fentanyl to kill every resident of Houston three times over.
Houston, the fourth-largest city in the United States, has a population of just over 2,300,000, according to U.S. census data.
According to a press release from the DEA’s Houston office, more than 670,000 fentanyl-laced pills and over 230 pounds of pure fentanyl powder were confiscated over the whole of last year.
According to DEA Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux, who works with the Houston Field Division, the drugs are pouring over the border from the Sinaloa and Jalisco (CJNG) cartels.
“These seizures are a testament to the imminent threat the Sinaloa and Jalisco (CJNG) cartels continue to pose and our relentless determination to go after anyone that brings this poison to our cherished communities,” Comeaux stated.
Fentanyl, which the DEA called the deadliest drug threat to the United States, is mass-produced by the cartels at secret factories in Mexico. The chemicals for the drugs are allegedly sourced from China.
Just two milligrams of the opioid — enough to fit on the tip of a pencil — could be fatal.
2022 saw several major fentanyl busts across the country, with multiple departments seizing record-high amounts of the drug.
According to the DEA press release, the country has seen a sharp increase in the lethality of fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills designed to look like medications such as Xanax, Percocet or Oxycontin.
Indeed, DEA laboratory testing last year found that six out of 10 fentanyl-laced pills contained a potentially lethal dose of the drug.
The DEA warned that the fake pills are easily found on social media.
“No pharmaceutical pill bought on social media is safe. The only safe medications are ones prescribed directly to you by a trusted medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist,” the press release wrote.
Recently, the agency reported an increase in teenagers dying from fentanyl overdoses after purchasing illicit drugs on social media platforms.
“They have to understand. This can kill you immediately. The thing that everyone needs to know, the numbers are going up. We have to stop them,” Comeaux said.