(KERO) — A new study found that the number of illicit pills containing fentanyl seized by U.S. law enforcement jumped a whopping 4,850 percent between 2018 and 2021.
According to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration data, more than 42,000 fentanyl-laced pills were seized in 2018 and nearly 2.1 million were seized in 2021.
Fentanyl can be found in counterfeit versions of drugs such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.
The rise in fentanyl seizures parallels a fatal overdose crisis that's driven by synthetic opioids.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse which funded the study said that when a pill is contaminated with fentanyl poisoning can easily happen.
A co-author of the study said widespread education is needed about the risk of pills that don't come from a pharmacy.
He said the immediate message is that illegally obtained pills can contain fentanyl.