DEA Encourages Back To School Drug Awareness And Education Among Family And Friends
By Emily Murray
Students across the Midwest are returning to school and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Omaha Division is reminding families to make time for honest discussions about the dangers associated with the experimentation and use of drugs.
“Never underestimate the impact that one conversation can have,” DEA Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Justin C. King said. “We all know how hard it is to start these conversations, but the consequences that can come from not communicating and educating one another on the dangers of drugs such as fentanyl, can be life-altering.”
Fentanyl seizures across the five state DEA Omaha Division, which includes Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, continue to rise as pills and powder make their way into the country. In 2022, investigators across the DEA Omaha Division removed nearly six million deadly doses of fentanyl to include more than 170,000 fake fentanyl pills.
According to the CDC, a leading cause of death for Americans ages 18-45 is drug poisoning. Just two milligrams of fentanyl, small enough to fit on the tip of a pencil, is considered a potentially lethal dose and six out of 10 pills tested at DEA laboratories contain a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl. This marks an increase from 2021, when four out of 10 pills tested contained a potentially deadly dose of fentanyl.
Fentanyl comes in every shape and color and oftentimes is made to look like legitimate prescription medications including Oxycodone, Xanax and Adderall.
“Legitimate prescription pills can’t be purchased on social media,” King said. “We really want to emphasize this. A lot of people aren’t aware what they’re buying online and ingesting is actually fentanyl disguised as a legitimate medication. Only take medication that was prescribed specifically to you and filled at your pharmacy. Taking anything else can lead to tragic consequences.”
For more information on fentanyl and other drugs, or for guidance on how to start a conversation with friends and family on the dangers of drug use, please visit www.dea.gov or www.JustThinkTwice.gov.