Fentanyl Intensifies Nation’s Heroin Epidemic
November 5, 2015
Fentanyl-laced heroin is exacerbating the nation’s spiraling heroin epidemic, causing a surge in overdose deaths.
Mollie Halpern: Fentanyl-laced heroin is exacerbating the nation’s spiraling heroin epidemic, causing a surge in overdose deaths.
According to the recently released National Drug Threat Assessment, fentanyl was responsible for more than 700 deaths in the U.S. between late 2013 and early 2015.
DEA Special Agent Matthew Barden says the opioid—which is 25 to 40 times more potent than heroin—is also putting law enforcement working drug investigations at risk.
Matthew Barden: When an agent, a police officer comes across any quantity of drugs, they have to take the proper safety precautions. If they touch this, it could be deadly.
Halpern: Michael Christman is an assistant special agent in charge in the FBI’s office in Pittsburgh, where the majority of overdose deaths are from fentanyl-laced heroin.
He says taking down the criminal organizations that distribute drugs is just one way the FBI and its partners from the DEA are trying to end the epidemic.
Michael Christman: We developed a broad, comprehensive working group comprised of law enforcement, academic, and other private industry members to try to develop both outreach and training solutions to combat the epidemic.
Halpern: I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau with FBI, This Week.
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