‘One Pill Can Kill’: How Fentanyl changed the war on drugs

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The fentanyl epidemic in the US is unprecedented, and the DEA has seized enough fentanyl to give a lethal dose to every person in America.

San Diego is the gateway for the majority of those pills coming over the border, and the special agent in charge of the DEA says everyone in the community needs to be aware of the fentanyl epidemic, before you make a deadly mistake.

KUSI’s Ginger Jeffries has spent endless hours getting to the bottom of this epidemic, getting facts on how it is impacting Americans, specifically our children.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. It was originally developed for pain management applied in a patch on the skin. However, because of its high-powered ability – drug dealers started to add it to heroin to either increase the potency or even disguise it as a cheap alternative.

It works by binding the areas of the brain that control pain. Someone on fentanyl will experience sedation, often confusion, and extreme emotions. A lethal dose is as small as 3 granules of salt.

The DEA launched the ‘One Pill can Kill’ public awareness campaign in September of last year, to attack this growing problem on every level.

The majority of the counterfeit drug production is happening in other countries, mainly China and Mexico, and then trafficked here to the US.

Common emojis for fake prescription drugs include, a blue dot, or a banana for Oxy and Percocet.

  • A chocolate bar or a bus for Xanax.
  • A-train for Adderall.
  • Drugs like meth includes the diamond icon among others.
  • Heroin is known by a brown heart or dragon.
  • While cocaine has many – most commonly an eightball or snow flake.
  • Club drugs like molly’s are identified on the social media scene with a lighting bolt or candy wrapper.
  • Marijuana is known as a puff of smoke – fire or clover.

Other signs to watch out for is how a dealer will try to advertise by using “the plug” or “money bag” and how potent a batch is and if they have a lot or a little.

As a parent, knowing what your kids are communicating about could be the difference between life and death!





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