DEA Omaha reports 4.7 million fentanyl doses seized in 2022

Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 5:38 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 29, 2022 at 5:52 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The DEA’s Omaha division reported that it had seized nearly 4.7 million lethal doses of fentanyl throughout all of 2022, an increase over last year.

According to a Thursday news release, the seized doses were in both pill and powder form, contributing to a national total of more than 379 million potentially deadly doses seized by the DEA during the year — “enough to kill every American.”

The Omaha division covers five states: Nebraska, Iowa, the Dakotas, and Minnesota, where fentanyl is the primary drug threat. In the other four states, including Nebraska and Iowa, fentanyl is tied with methamphetamine as their No. 1 drug threat.

The amount seized in 2022 in some of these states tripled the amounts reported last year, according to the report.

“Most of the fentanyl trafficked by the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) is being mass-produced at secret factories in Mexico with chemicals sourced largely from China,” the release states.

The highly addictive man-made opioid is 50 times stronger than heroin and 50-100 times strong than morphine, according to the DEA.

“Just two milligrams of fentanyl, small enough to fit on the tip of a pencil, is considered a potentially deadly dose,” the release states.

DEA Omaha reported seizing 4.7 million lethal doses of fentanyl in 2022.
DEA Omaha reported seizing 4.7 million lethal doses of fentanyl in 2022.(DEA Omaha)

The DEA says the fake pills — readily found on social media — are often made to look like prescription medications like OxyContin, Percocet, or Xanax. But because they generally contain filler and fentanyl, they’re often deadly.

“No pharmaceutical pill bought on social media is safe,” the release states. " The only safe medications are ones prescribed directly to you by a trusted medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist.”

DEA labs that identified laced fake prescription pills found that six out of every 10 such pills contained a potentially deadly dose of fentanyl, an increase from last year when four of every 10 such pills contained a lethal dose.

“The lethality and seriousness of this drug can’t be talked about enough,” DEA Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Justin C. King said in the release. “Now is the time for families to sit down and have conversations about the consequences that can come from taking this incredibly potent substance.”

To increase awareness, the DEA is memorializing those lost to fentanyl poisoning. Those who have lost a loved one and wish to commemorate them in the Faces of Fentanyl memorial can submit a photo with their name and age to; or post a photo with their name on social media using the hashtag #JustKNOW.