CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — There were more than 379 million deadly overdoses worth of fentanyl seized in the United States in 2022, including 184,382 fake prescription pills and 316 pounds of fentanyl powder that were seized in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Nationwide, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said it seized more than 50.6 million fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills and more than 10,000 pounds of fentanyl powder.
“Fentanyl is a national problem and it’s landed right on our doorstep,” Todd Scott, special agent in charge of the DEA’s Louisville Division, said in a press release. “No one is immune to this scourge. Fentanyl is killing Americans in record numbers and almost every community has been touched by these deaths.”
In August of 2022, federal prosecutors confirmed that fake prescription pills that were laced with fentanyl were found in Morgantown near West Virginia University. The DEA reiterated what federal prosecutors said at the time of their announcement: These pills are made in factories in Mexico using chemicals largely sourced from China.
They’re made to look like real prescription medications—including OxyContin®, Percocet®, and Xanax®—but only contain filler and fentanyl, and the DEA warned last month that the counterfeit pills have recently increased in lethality. 2022 lab testing revealed that six out of 10 fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills contained a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl—up from four out of 10 in 2021.
The DEA also announced in its press release that it has started a Faces of Fentanyl memorial to commemorate the lives lost from fentanyl poisoning. Those who wish to submit a loved one’s photo may send their name, age, and photograph to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post a photo and their name to social media using the hashtag #JustKNOW.