The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in a single year for the first time.
This new data, which covers April 2020 to April 2021, come as the Drug Enforcement Administration also reported drugs laced with Fentanyl are becoming more common in Eastern Oklahoma.
“One pill can kill.”
That's the message law enforcement and health experts want everyone to remember as traffickers try to sell millions of fake pills.
The DEA stressed two milligrams of Fentanyl, as small as a pencil lead, could kill.
"For example, a young adult that decides to take a pill from a friend that's a Xanax while not knowing that Xanax could possibly contain a lethal amount of Fentanyl,” explained David King, resident agent in charge for the Tulsa area. “First-time user, take a pill, and it absolutely can kill you."
King said Fentanyl is on the rise because it is cheap, plus easy to make and transport.
King told News On 6 his office has seized more Fentanyl just in the last six months than in the past three years combined.
King said agents are working with state and local partners to go after traffickers.
"Heroin is predominantly on the uptick even though meth is still our predominant killer in the state of Oklahoma,” said King. “Overdose deaths concerning synthetic Opioids and Opioids is on the increase."
King said 1,009 Oklahomans died from an overdose in 2020, the most ever on record in the state.
"We deal with a gambit of overdose types, from narcotics to stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine,” said Christopher Jenkins with EMSA.
Jenkins said in Eastern Oklahoma, his agency administers Narcan 70 to 80 times in an average month.
"Definitely with the increase in potency of the narcotics, that definitely poses some challenges to us and the timeliness of them calling for help," explained Jenkins.
The DEA said education saves lives and stressed you should only take a pill if it came from a pharmacy and was prescribed to you.