May 10 is National Fentanyl Awareness Day
FENTANYL IS KILLING AMERICANS AT AN UNPRECEDENTED RATE
WASHINGTON — — Today, in an effort to save lives, DEA is proud to join “Song for Charlie” and many of our valued public health, non-profit, and law enforcement partners in recognizing the first ever National Fentanyl Awareness Day. This day is an effort to educate individuals around the dangerous threat that fentanyl poses to the safety, health, and national security of the American people.
Help Save Lives: Talk With Friends, Family About the Dangers of This Deadly Drug
Today, in an effort to save lives, DEA is proud to join “Song for Charlie” and many of our valued public health, non-profit, and law enforcement partners in recognizing the first ever National Fentanyl Awareness Day. This day is an effort to educate individuals around the dangerous threat that fentanyl poses to the safety, health, and national security of the American people.
To mark National Fentanyl Awareness Day, the DEA released a video announcement from Administrator Milgram stressing the dangers of fentanyl and the need for urgent action.
“Fentanyl is killing Americans at unprecedented rates,” said Administrator Milgram. “On this first ever National Fentanyl Awareness Day, please help save lives by making sure you talk with your friends and family about the dangers of this deadly drug.”
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is approximately 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. It is inexpensive, widely available, and highly addictive. Drug traffickers are increasingly mixing fentanyl with other illicit drugs—in powder and pill form—to drive addiction and create repeat customers, many people who are overdosing and dying don’t even know that they are taking fentanyl. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in the United States, nearly 107,000 people died as the result of a drug overdose in the 12-month period ending November 2021. Sixty-six percent of overdose deaths involved synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. Today, the CDC reports that overdose deaths are the leading cause of death for Americans 18-45 years old.
DEA has created a special exhibit in its museum, Faces of Fentanyl, to commemorate the lives lost from fentanyl poisoning. If you would like to submit a photo of a loved one, lost to fentanyl please either submit the name and photo to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to social media with the hashtag #NationalFentanylAwarenessDay.
For more information on the dangers of fentanyl, visit www.DEA.gov/fentanylawareness.
U.S. House Resolution
Supporting the mission and goals of National Fentanyl Awareness Day in 2022, including increasing individual and public awareness of the impact of fake or counterfeit fentanyl pills on families and young people.
Whereas drug traffickers are mass-producing counterfeit pills and falsely marketing counterfeit pills as legitimate prescription pills to deceive the people of the United States;
Whereas many counterfeit pills are made to look like prescription name-brand opioids or stimulants;
Whereas drug traffickers are using fake or counterfeit pills to exploit the opioid crisis and nonmedical use of prescription drugs;
Whereas the Drug Enforcement Administration (referred to
in this resolution as the ‘‘DEA’’) has observed a dramatic rise in the number of counterfeit pills containing not less than 2 milligrams of fentanyl, which is considered a deadly dose among people without opioid tolerance;
Whereas 4 out of every 10 pills with fentanyl tested by the DEA contain a potentially lethal dose;
Whereas counterfeit pills may also contain fentanyl-related substances and methamphetamine;
Whereas the number of counterfeit pills with fentanyl seized by law enforcement agencies has increased by nearly 502 percent since 2019;
Whereas more than 9,500,000 counterfeit pills were seized
within the last year, which exceeds the total number of seizures for the previous 2 years combined;
Whereas fake or counterfeit pills have been identified in all 50 States and the District of Columbia; Whereas illicit fentanyl is contaminating other drugs such as heroin and cocaine;
Whereas, for the 12-month period ending in November 2021, more than 105,000 individuals in the United States died of drug-induced deaths, and 70,000 of those deaths involved illicit synthetic opioids, including fentanyl;
Whereas, over the last 20 years, drug-induced deaths among individuals aged 15 to 35 has increased 6-fold, largely driven by the increase in illicit drugs containing fentanyl;
Whereas for the 12-month period ending in April 2021, the leading cause of death for individuals in the United
States aged 18 to 45 was synthetic opioids, including fentanyl;
Whereas racial disparities in rates of fatal opioid-related overdoses are increasing, and rates among non-Hispanic Black individuals has surpassed rates among non-Hispanic White individuals;
Whereas counterfeit pills are easily accessible and often sold on social media and e-commerce platforms, making them accessible to teens and youth;
Whereas illicit fentanyl is involved in more deaths of youths than all other drug types combined;
Whereas, in 2020, drug overdose and poisoning deaths for individuals aged 14 to 18 grew by 94 percent, which was
more than 3 times as fast as the national rate and faster than any other 5-year age group;
Whereas, in 2020, fentanyl-involved drug overdoses and poisoning deaths for individuals aged 14 to 18 grew by 169 percent, which was more than 3 times as fast as the national rate and faster than any other 5-year age group;
Whereas it is estimated that fatal overdoses cost the United States approximately $1,000,000,000 annually; and
Whereas, in 2020, there were 56,516 reported overdose deaths due to synthetic opioids: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives—
(1) supports the recognition and goals of National Fentanyl Awareness Day, which include increasing individual and public awareness of the presence of fentanyl in fake or counterfeit pills and drugs such as heroin and cocaine, as well as its impact on families and young people;
(2) applauds the work of Federal, State, and local public health, law enforcement, and other agencies that work to combat the proliferation of counterfeit pills and their harms to health;
(3) encourages the use of existing strategies and authorities to proactively stop and prevent the
spread of illicit synthetic opioids; and
(4) supports the designation of a ‘‘National Fentanyl Awareness Day’’.