DEA 2023 report: Enough fentanyl seized to kill every American

WASHINGTON – Drug Enforcement Administration officers seized more than 77 million fentanyl pills and nearly 12,000 pounds of fentanyl powder in 2023, which is enough to kill every American. During its annual report, the DEA also mentioned that the organization seized a record amount of the synthetic opioid, which is the number one killer of Americans between the ages of 18 and 45. 

“The dedicated women and men of DEA are doing everything in our power to battle the fentanyl scourge that is destroying our communities, but we’re essentially drinking water from a firehose,” said Special Agent in Charge J. Todd Scott, head of DEA’s Louisville Field Division.  “This is not a problem that can be solved by law enforcement alone.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also predicting a record number of deadly drug poisonings in 2023, with its latest estimate for the 12-month period ending June 2023 at 112,323 deaths.  Nearly 70% of these drug poisonings are from fentanyl.   

“The fentanyl we see today is even deadlier than before. Fentanyl pills today are more potent,” the DEA wrote in a press release.

As Emily’s Hope previously reported, DEA laboratory testing in 2023 showed that seven out of ten fake prescription pills laced with fentanyl contain a potentially deadly dose. This is an increase from four out of ten pills in 2021 and six out of ten pills in 2022. 

Just two milligrams of fentanyl, the amount that fits on the tip of a pencil, can be enough to kill an average American.