Fentanyl pills seized in Arizona nearly doubles from 2020 to 2021

More than forty percent contain a lethal dose
Number of pills seized doubles from 2020 to 2021
Published: Feb. 27, 2022 at 9:56 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The DEA is warning about the dangers of fentanyl as the drug is being found at a rapidly rising rate.

The number of fentanyl pills seized in Arizona has skyrocketed in recent years, doubling from six million in 2020 to nearly 12 million last year, according to the DEA’s office in Phoenix.

“It’s terrifying. We are talking about a tidal wave of drugs coming into Arizona and then being repackaged and shipped throughout the United States,” said Cheri Oz, the special agent of the Phoenix Field Division DEA.

She said more than 40% of the pills coming through contain a lethal dose.

“It’s a call to action to the community. The way we turn this thing around is by working together. That means every single household needs to be aware this is a problem and start the conversation in our own homes,” she said.

Alisha Haynes knows the dangers all too well. She used drugs for eight years after marrying an addict when she was just eighteen years old.

“I was 80 pounds using meth and fentanyl,” Haynes said. “I was using so much fentanyl that even when I used heroin, it wouldn’t do anything for me.”

She overdosed multiple times and remembered back to her lowest points when she believed the drugs would one day take her life.

“It’s a shameful defining moment and it’s sad how many times it takes until you’re like okay I got to get help,” she said.

Haynes sought out treatment at CODAC, a recovery center in Tucson, and has been sober for three years. She now wants others to recognize the dangers of fentanyl and understand there is hope.

“You don’t realize how lonely you are until you look back. If I had to tell someone that is using now, I would say you’re worth being alive. You’re worth something to somebody,” she said.

The DEA says it has seized more than two million fentanyl pills in Arizona so far this year.

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