DEA issues security alert as fentanyl seizures in San Francisco skyrocket – CBS San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – As federal seizures of fentanyl have climbed more than 155% so far this year in San Francisco, the Drug Enforcement Administration issued a health warning on Monday regarding the fatal overdoses in the region. bay and across the country.
The San Francisco chief medical examiner’s office says that in July alone, 33 people died from accidental fentanyl overdoses in the city.
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Santa Clara County is also closely monitoring the number of fentanyl deaths. In 2019, 27 deaths were recorded. The death toll increased significantly in 2020 to reach 88 registered deaths. In 2021, so far through early August, there have been 44 confirmed deaths.
Monday’s security alert was the first the agency has issued in the past six years and comes amid a significant nationwide increase in counterfeit pills that are being mass produced by criminal drug rings in laboratories containing the deadly drug.
Counterfeit pills have been seized by DEA agents in all US states in unprecedented quantities. More than 9.5 million counterfeit pills have been seized so far this year, more than the past two years combined.
DEA lab tests also revealed a dramatic increase in the number of counterfeit pills containing at least two milligrams of fentanyl, which is considered a lethal dose.
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“The United States is facing an unprecedented crisis of overdose deaths fueled by illegally manufactured fentanyl and methamphetamine,” said Anne Milgram, administrator of the DEA. “Counterfeit pills that contain these dangerous and extremely addictive drugs are deadlier and more accessible than ever. In fact, DEA lab tests show that two out of five fake pills containing fentanyl contain a potentially fatal dose.
Wade R. Shannon, the DEA special agent in charge of San Francisco, said counterfeit pills were pouring into the Bay Area.
“Counterfeit pills containing fentanyl have flooded our area,” Shannon said. “Laboratory tests indicate a dramatic increase in fake tablets containing a lethal dose. Taking a prescription drug not purchased from a licensed pharmacy is extremely dangerous and can cost you your life.
Over the past year, seizures of DEA fentanyl have more than doubled in San Francisco. Seizures since the start of the year show an increase of 155% over the previous year.
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DEA officials said the vast majority of counterfeit pills imported into the United States are produced in Mexico and that China supplies the chemicals needed to make fentanyl.