Opioids still the biggest national drug threat, says DEA

October 3, 2018
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Heroin, fentanyl and related drugs remain the chief drug threat in the nation but cocaine and methamphetamine are roaring back in some areas, the U.S.Drug Enforcement Administration said Tuesday.

Heroin and the stronger synthetic painkiller, fentanyl, accounted for 64,000 deaths in 2016 and represented two-thirds of all poisoning deaths, according to DEA’s National Threat Assessment.

According to the report, drug traffickers are disguising heroin-fentynal as prescription painkillers and that is causing additional deaths. People who think they are getting prescription meds on the street often get something else.

The administration said heroin is now mostly originating in Mexico, where poppy cultivation and heroin production have increased.

The DEA and state police earlier said the Sinacola Cartel is responsible for most of heroin-fentynal in Pennsylvania.

Other DEA conclusions:

Most synthetic opioids are shipped from Mexico or China.

Columbia-grown cocaine is pushing back into the U.S. and is surpassing cocaine death levels last seen in 2007.

Most methamphetamine production is happening in Mexico and domestic production continues to decline.

Marijuana remains the most commonly used illegal drug in the U.S.

Pennsylvania has the second most opioid deaths in the nation, behind only to Ohio.

Update hourly