Opioid overdose deaths hit the highest level ever recorded in the United States last year, with an estimated 200 people per day, a new report by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has found.
Preliminary figures show about 72,000 people died in 2017 from opioid-related overdoses across the country.
About a week ago, US health secretary Alex Azar said: "Overdose deaths have now begun to break off, but hey, hey, hey, hey, hey.
The DEA's National Drug Threat Assessment, which is being released Friday, shows that heroin, fentanyl and other opioids continue to be the highest drug threat in the nation.
Hotspots for those drugs.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alexa Azar said earlier this month that the drug was overdosed (file image)
The DEA is also known as the marijuana legalization to traffic into the illicit market or states that do not have medicinal or recreational marijuana laws, according to the report.
President Donald Trump has declared the U.S. opioid crisis as a 'public health emergency' and just last week pledged to put on 'extremely big dent' in the scourge of drug addiction.
Fatal heroin overdoses rose nationwide between 2015 and 2016, with a nearly 25 percent increase in the Northeast and more than 22 percent in the South.
Mexico, and US Customs and Border Protection officers seize most of the heroin along the Mexico border, near San Diego, California, the report said.
Fentanyl and other opioids, which remain one of the biggest concerns for federal drug agents.
Health officials and addiction experts have widely blamed the synthetic opioid for fueling alarming rates of overdose deaths across the US.
Heroin and even other drugs, like cocaine.
Users are often unaware of the increased potency of their drugs and unwittingly take more than their system can handle.
The DEA has said China is a source of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids that have been flooding the US market.
China has pushed back against the characterization, and US officials have been hard at work with their Chinese counterparts.
Legislation that Trump signed last week wants to add treatment options and force the US Postal Service to overseas packages for fentanyl.
The DEA's report also noted that methamphetamine is making its way into communities.
Chronic use of meth, highly addictive stimulant, can cause paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations and delusions, studies have shown.
As a result of this, the number of meth labs started to drop.
But the DEA has been found to be filled by Mexican and Latin American drug cartels that dabbled in heroin and cocaine trafficking.
A market on the West Coast is now driving the cartels to peddle methamphetamine into the Northeast, using the same routes they use for heroin and other drugs.
Officials therefore warn that because of more cocaine production in South American countries including Colombia, they expect to ship larger shipments at the Mexican border.