Fentanyl seized in Houston is enough to 'kill everyone in Houston and the surrounding areas'

The Drug Enforcement Administration is calling Fentanyl, "the deadliest drug threat facing the country." It’s such a growing problem in Houston as Fentanyl seized by the DEA doubled this year.      

The amount of Fentanyl found and confiscated by the DEA in Houston in 2022 alone, is alarming. It was actually enough to kill every person in Houston, Harris County, and the entire metropolitan area. 

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"Overdoses as you know, as per the CDC, have skyrocketed," explains Deputy Special Agent in Charge Tracey Mendez with the DEA Houston Field Division. 

Because so many people are dying from Fentanyl, the DEA is cracking down on dealers. This year, federal agents have taken 7.8 million deadly doses of Fentanyl-laced pills and powder off of Houston streets. 

"That can kill potentially everyone in Houston and the surrounding areas," Mendez explains.

"Talk to your kids. It’s never too early to have that talk," adds Houston dad David McGuffin.

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The highly addictive man-made opioid, which is 50 times more potent than heroin, caused McGuffin’s son Will to overdose three times. 

"In November 2020, which was the second time, he spent 18 days in the hospital, was on a ventilator and then pulled through," says McGuffi. But then last year his son died of Fentanyl poisoning. 

"Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him. I wish he was here," says the grieving father. 

Most who buy it believe they are taking a prescription pill such as Oxycontin, Percocet, or Xanax. The fakes look like the real thing, according to the DEA, and are mostly made in Mexico by two specific drug cartels. 

"They don’t care if people are dying from this," says Deputy Special Agent Mendez. 

The DEA isn’t only finding Fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills, the synthetic substance is also being sold in, "Meth, cocaine, heroin, to increase the potency levels. So they’re driving up the level of addiction. If they drive up the level of addiction, they create a larger customer base. They’re making more money. They are in the business of making money. So what they’re doing is creating mass numbers of Fentanyl in the pills, and they’re inundating this country solely for the bottom line, to increase their money making ability," Mendez explains. "It’s extremely concerning and this is something that we as an agency across the board are focused on."

Victims of Fentanyl poisonings are getting younger and that’s no accident. 

"There’s rainbow Fentanyl, they’ve incorporated color, and they’re using that as a marketing ploy," says Mendez.

"I hope to God our law enforcement, our government lets these people know that we’re coming for them. We’re not going to stop," adds McGuffin.

In fact, Drug Enforcement Agents for our region are currently working over 70 different Fentanyl poisoning investigations to prosecute the dealers, whose youngest recent victim was just 14-years-old.  

In addition to sharing this story with your kids and talking with them about the deadly drug threat, the DEA has started a Faces of Fentanyl memorial. If you search #JustKnow on Twitter, you’ll see DEA posts about youngsters who have died from Fentanyl poisoning. That may also be a good way to discuss the dangers with your youngsters.