DEA & MPD Issue Public Safety Alert on Mass Overdose Events Across D.C. Metro Area
Washington, D.C., -- Today, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Washington Division & the Metropolitan Police Department issued a Public Safety Alert warning residents in the D.C. metropolitan area of the alarming increase in fentanyl-related mass overdose events across the city. The Public Safety Alert seeks to raise public awareness of a significant local and nationwide surge in drugs being mass-produced by violent drug organizations, sold across the area, and killing unsuspecting victims at an unprecedented rate.
Last week’s nationwide release on the issue, characterizes a mass overdose event as multiple overdose incidences occurring within close time and proximity. Recent mass overdose events have occurred throughout Washington D.C.
On January 28, 2022, 10 individuals overdosed, 9 of whom died, within the same area of Southeast Washington D.C., after ingesting crack cocaine laced with fentanyl. Just this week, 17 individuals overdosed, 10 of whom died, in Northeast D.C. within a three-day period after they took what MPD believes was a “bad batch” of drugs laced with fentanyl.
Tragic events like these are being driven by fentanyl and violent drug trafficking organizations in and around the Nation’s Capital. Fentanyl is a highly addictive and dangerous synthetic opioid, the DEA and MPD are finding in neighborhoods across the metropolitan area. Drug traffickers are mixing fentanyl with other drugs, in an effort to increase profits and drive addiction. These fentanyl-containing drugs – often sold as street drugs like cocaine or counterfeit pills – are causing a number of mass overdose events, along with an unprecedented number of overdose deaths, in our area.
When a mass-overdose event occurs, the DEA Washington Division and local D.C. area partners like MPD and the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health stand ready to offer all available resources to assist, including:
Interdicting the substance that is driving the spike in overdoses;
Investigating and identifying the dealers and larger drug trafficking organizations responsible for the overdose event;
Providing priority access to area resources, including labs, chemists, and overdose subject matter experts;
Connecting victims with local behavioral health resources; and
Warning the public about the lethal drug threat.
The DEA and MPD are working diligently to trace mass-overdose events back to the local drug trafficking organizations and international cartels responsible for the surging domestic supply of fentanyl.
Today’s alert follows the DEA’s letter to federal, state, and local law enforcement partners warning of a nationwide spike in mass overdose events.