**Related video above: Investigators warn about fentanyl pills disguised to look like Tylenol.**
(WJW) — The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is warning that fentanyl overdose deaths continue to be on the rise across the country.
“Fentanyl is killing Americans at an unprecedented rate,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said in a statement. “Already this year, numerous mass-overdose events have resulted in dozens of overdoses and deaths. Drug traffickers are driving addiction, and increasing their profits, by mixing fentanyl with other illicit drugs. Tragically, many overdose victims have no idea they are ingesting deadly fentanyl, until it’s too late.”
These recent mass-overdose events, which the DEA said led to 58 overdoses and 29 deaths, have reportedly taken place in states other than Ohio, but the state continues to battle fentanyl infiltration. Two weeks ago, Lorain police said they seized powerful narcotics disguised to look like Tylenol.
Ohio had 327 deaths in a year’s time back in 1999. By 2020, that number increased to 5,018 in a year, the Ohio Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
This year, fentanyl seizures are taking place at record rates nationwide, the DEA said, with the first three months of 2022 garnering 2,000 pounds of the drug, along with 1 million fake pills.
The agency reportedly seized around 15,000 pounds of fentanyl last year, which is more than four times the amount found and taken in 2017.
The most effective treatment in combating a fentanyl overdose is to administer naloxone, also known as Narcan. Ohioans can get Narcan at pharmacies without a prescription, or online at Harm Reduction Ohio.
More information on the dangers of highly addictive fentanyl can be found at dea.org.