SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California seized more than 28,000 pounds of fentanyl over the past year, a nearly six-fold increase in the amount of the drug recovered a year earlier, officials said Friday.
California's National Guard, which hired and trained more than 160 members to work on efforts to reduce the amount of fentanyl on the streets, contributed to the seizures, Gov. Gavin Newsom's office said in a statement.
The report comes as states grapple with an addiction and overdose crisis that has grown deadlier due to fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, which can be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, heroin or prescription opioids. Last year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses over a 12-month period, about two-thirds of these linked to fentanyl and other synthetic drugs.
“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,” Newsom said.
The street value of the drugs seized in California was estimated at $230 million, the statement said.