The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) declared May 9 National Fentanyl Awareness Day. The purpose is to spread awareness about the deadly drug and to remember those who its deadly consequences have impacted.

U.S. Sen. Katie Britt (R-Montgomery) spoke about the dangers of fentanyl, which has posed significant risks to national security. Britt compared the number of deaths to lives claimed in war.

“We all know that fentanyl is devastating our communities across this great nation," said Britt. "It is now the leading cause of death for Americans under 45. More than 150 people die each day from an overdose related to fentanyl.

"At the current rate, more Americans will die in the next decade from fentanyl than combat deaths in all the wars since America’s founding.”

The startling comparison is just another example of how deadly the opioid crisis has been in the United States. Britt contends the deadly use of fentanyl starts abroad, in places like China, then brought to Mexico to be made into deadly products manufactured by Mexican cartels.

The two main cartels — the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels — have been purposely hiding fentanyl in other drugs to drive up addiction, DEA administrator Anne Milgram claimed. Furthermore, they are using social media to target children.

RELATED: U.S. Sen. Britt joins efforts to fight coyote funding, fentanyl smuggling at southern border

“Fentanyl is the greatest threat to Americans today,” said Milgram. “It kills more Americans between the ages of 18 to 45 than terrorism, than car accidents, than cancer, than COVID. It kills nearly 200 Americans every day. And the number of children under 14 dying from fentanyl poisoning has increased at an alarming rate.

“ … I encourage you to use this day to talk to your families about the dangers of fentanyl and have an important conversation with your kids about who they are communicating with on social media.”

DEA urges the public to be vigilant about fentanyl and the deadly threat it poses:

  • Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is approximately 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Just two milligrams—the equivalent of a few grains of salt—can kill a person.

  • Fentanyl comes in two forms: pills and powder. The Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels are hiding fentanyl in fake pills that look like oxycodone, Xanax, and Percocet. The cartels are also mixing fentanyl powder in with cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. This is why many of the people poisoned by fentanyl had no idea they were even taking it.

  • The cartels and their members and associates are using social media applications—including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat—and encrypted platforms—including WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Wire, and Wickr—to sell pills and powders that are advertised as something else but actually have fentanyl inside.

To get more facts about fentanyl, visit One Pill Can Kill.

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