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WASHINGTON – Today, in an effort to save lives, DEA is proud to join “Song for Charlie” and many of our valued public health, non-profit, and law enforcement partners in recognizing the first ever National Fentanyl Awareness Day. This day is an effort to educate individuals around the dangerous threat that fentanyl poses to the safety, health, and national security of the American people.

To mark National Fentanyl Awareness Day, the DEA released a video announcement from Administrator Milgram stressing the dangers of fentanyl and the need for urgent action. “Fentanyl is killing Americans at unprecedented rates,” said Administrator Milgram. “On this first ever National Fentanyl Awareness Day, please help save lives by making sure you talk with your friends and family about the dangers of this deadly drug.”

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is approximately 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. It is inexpensive, widely available, and highly addictive. Drug traffickers are increasingly mixing fentanyl with other illicit drugs—in powder and pill form—to drive addiction and create repeat customers, many people who are overdosing and dying don’t even know that they are taking fentanyl. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in the United States, nearly 107,000 people died as the result of a drug overdose in the 12-month period ending November 2021. Sixty-six percent of overdose deaths involved synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. Today, the CDC reports that overdose deaths are the leading cause of death for Americans 18-45 years old.

DEA has created a special exhibit in its museum, Faces of Fentanyl, to commemorate the lives lost from fentanyl poisoning. If you would like to submit a photo of a loved one, lost to fentanyl please either submit the name and photo to or post to social media with the hashtag #NationalFentanylAwarenessDay.

For more information on the dangers of fentanyl, visit

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