The opioid crisis is being fueled by anonymous online sales on the dark web, where buyers purchase fentanyl and other drugs using special browsers and virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, The New York Times reports.
Drug overdose deaths increased 19 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to a preliminary analysis of data by The New York Times. Evidence suggests the problem, driven by opioid addiction, has continued to worsen this year.
The Drug Enforcement Administration is warning police officers and firefighters about the dangers of overdosing on the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl if they accidentally touch or inhale the drug while on the job.
Fentanyl, the opioid that is up to 50 times as potent as heroin, is presenting law enforcement with complex challenges, according to Richard Baum, Acting Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.