CALIFORNIA—In 2022, authorities in California say they seized 28,765 pounds of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.
The Department of Drug Enforcement said it is enough to kill hundreds of millions of people with an estimated street value of more than $230 million.
“The opioid crisis has touched every part of California, and our nation, this year,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said. “As we mourn the many lives lost, California is working harder than ever to fight this crisis and protect people from these dangerous drugs to ensure our communities are kept safe in the first place. California is cracking down on the fentanyl crisis—increasing seizures, making resources more available to Californians, and ensuring communities have what they need to combat the immeasurable harm opioids have caused our society, our communities, and our loved ones.”
In 2021, more than 71,000 people died from synthetic opioid-related drug overdose in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Based on 2021 data, there were 6,843 opioid-related overdose deaths in California; 5,722 of those were fentanyl-related, the CDC said. In 2021, 224 fentanyl-related overdose deaths included ages 15-19 in California, according to the California Department of Public Health.Newsom’s office noted a 594% increase in fentanyl seized by law enforcement with help from the California National Guard compared to 2021.
Recently, the CDPH announced it will bolster efforts to raise awareness of the life-saving drug Naloxone by working with colleges and universities across California.