WASHINGTON, D.C. (ValleyCentral) — In an effort to save lives the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) joins in a “Song for Charlie” and other public health, non-profit, and law enforcement partners in recognizing the first-ever National Fentanyl Awareness Day.

The agency’s news release said, on this day, in the effort to educate people about the dangerous threat that fentanyl poses to the safety, health, and national security of Americans.

To mark National Fentanyl Awareness Day, DEA Administrator Anne Milgram stressed the dangers of fentanyl and the need for urgent action.

“Fentanyl is killing Americans at unprecedented rates,” said 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, said the DEA’s news release.

“The fentanyl crisis is plaguing our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge of the Houston Division Daniel C. Comeaux. “The Mexican cartels don’t care about American lives. All they care about is making a profit. They are smuggling fentanyl into the United States, often in the form of fake deadly prescription pills.”

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.

For more information on the dangers of fentanyl, CLICK HERE.