Is the single deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered. Fentanyl is everywhere. From large metropolitan areas to rural America, no community is safe from this poison. We must take every opportunity to spread the word to prevent fentanyl-related overdose death and poisonings from claiming scores of American lives every day.

DEA Administrator Anne Milgram

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is prescribed for severe pain management, or chronic pain conditions. It is significantly more potent than other opioids like morphine and heroin. Fentanyl works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors, which are primarily found in the brain and spinal cord, to alleviate pain.

While fentanyl has legitimate medical uses, it also poses a high risk of misuse and overdose due to its potency. Illegally manufactured fentanyl has become a major concern in the opioid epidemic, as it is often mixed with other drugs or sold on the black market. The misuse of fentanyl and its analogs can lead to life-threatening respiratory depression and overdose as it is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. To emphasize just how dangerous this drug really is, even just one kilogram (2.2 lbs) of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people.

The scourge of Fentanyl overdoses has swept across the entire nation. Marian Spencer, a health statistics researcher at the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), highlighted that in 2016, the nationwide death toll linked to fentanyl was 18,499.

Shockingly, by 2021, this figure had surged dramatically, resulting in 69,943 fentanyl-related deaths. The alarming trajectory persists, with the overdose death rate continuing its upward climb, surpassing 112,000 fatal overdoses in 2023 alone.

Utah has not escaped the impact of the nationwide opioid surge.

The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) provided alarming statistics, stating, “Drug-related deaths are killing Americans at an unprecedented rate. Last year alone, it is predicted that 110,757 people died from drug poisoning, with fentanyl driving this record increase. 541 lives were lost in Utah last year to a drug overdose. Opioids, such as fentanyl, contributed to 74% of those deaths.”

Fentanyl, notorious for its extreme danger, is also alarmingly affordable, driving its widespread production at rapid rates within the illegal drug market.

Dealers not only manufacture deceptive fentanyl pills resembling prescription medications like Percocet but also lace various drugs including heroin, meth, cocaine, and even marijuana. This pervasive practice significantly heightens the peril of overdose and fatalities. It is crucial to recognize the gravity of this substance and approach it with utmost caution.