Fentanyl: One pill kills

November 4, 2022

  “Simply put, fentanyl is a clandestine killer, and Texans are falling victim to the cartels that are producing it.” – Governor Greg Abbott



Fentanyl is a deadly synthetic opioid that is impacting communities across Texas and endangering Texans of all ages. Fentanyl-related deaths reported in Texas increased 89% from 2020 to 2021, and the time to combat the infiltration of this drug into our state is now.

                           Photo courtesy of the Office of Governor Greg Abbott

Under the direction of Governor Abbott, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is working to raise awareness about the dangers of this drug to save the lives of Texans. Often, people don’t even know that they’re taking this deadly drug. This web page will serve as a resource to help spread the message about the dangers of fentanyl.

Mexican drug cartels are mass-producing and trafficking counterfeit prescription pills laced with fentanyl into Texas. The reality is that many of these fake pills look so real that it’s hard to tell the difference between fake and real prescription pills. So much so that even experts have a hard time telling the difference. Don’t fall victim to the deadly dangers of fentanyl.

To combat the rise in fentanyl across Texas, DPS continues to combat the smuggling of this deadly drug into our state, particularly as part of Operation Lone Star. Since Operation Lone Star began in March 2021, Texas law enforcement has seized more than 474 million* lethal doses of fentanyl across the state. This is enough fentanyl to kill every man, woman and child in the United States.



Fentanyl is often pressed into fake pills or cut into street drugs, such as methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine — often without the user knowing it — and the outcome can be deadly. In fact, most people who die from fentanyl didn’t know that they were even taking this deadly drug. One of the challenges in combating this crisis is the fact that these “fake” pills are everywhere. They are widely available. They aren’t hard to purchase.

In this video, you'll hear the story of the late Ryan Bagwell, a victim of fentanyl poisoning, from his mother, Sandra Bagwell. She shares his story in the hopes of helping protect others from the dangers of fentanyl.

Fentanyl dangers are impacting Texans of all ages. Fentanyl is 50–100 times more potent than morphine — just 2 milligrams could be lethal. According to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lab tests, “four out of every ten fake pills with fentanyl contain a potentially lethal dose.” The impacts of fentanyl are devastating — and deadly.

Abbott Quote



May 7 is National Fentanyl Awareness Day, and DPS is calling on all Texans to do their part to spread the word about the dangers of fentanyl.



What can you do? Learn the facts about fentanyl and start sharing your knowledge with loved ones. Raising awareness about this crisis is vital to helping protect lives. Many people don’t know about the dangers of fentanyl ― and the outcome can be deadly.

Knowledge is power, and we need your help spread the word about the fentanyl crisis.


OOG Proc


House Bill 3144 established October as Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Month to help increase awareness of the dangers of fentanyl. DPS is joining Governor Abbott throughout the month of October to bring attention to the dangers of fentanyl and educate all Texans about the fentanyl epidemic.

“The fentanyl epidemic has taken far too many innocent lives, but thanks to the work by brave parents and loved ones, like those here today, we have made Texans aware of this crisis,” said Governor Abbott. "In 2022, more than 2,000 people died from fentanyl in Texas—or more than five a day. It is the No. 1 killer of Americans ages 18-45. And as I noted at our fentanyl summit a few months ago, just one pill kills."

From Governor Abbott's Proclamation:

"Fentanyl is a scourge, with Mexican drug cartels strategically manufacturing and distributing the drug disguised as painkillers, stimulants, anti-anxiety drugs, and even candy. Victims of fentanyl poisoning are unaware that an alleged prescription pill or other substance they bought online or received at a party is laced with the deadly drug. Consequently, my office, in tandem with various state agencies, has sought to raise awareness and educate Texans of the dangers of fentanyl.

"...It is important that every Texan is aware of the fentanyl crisis plaguing our state and nation. Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Month will be a life-saving effort to protect our friends, family members, and loved ones from this clandestine killer. All Texans must understand the risks of fentanyl and speak openly about its dangers, as well as the life-saving power of opioid poisoning reversal medication naloxone, such as NARCAN, now available at schools and health care facilities, over the counter, and with multiple levels of law enforcement across our state.

"By coming together in this crisis, we can save more lives and ensure those around us are able to realize their dreams by reminding everyone that just one pill laced with fentanyl can take someone’s life. I encourage Texans of all ages to recognize October as Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Month and to acknowledge the scourge of this deadly drug."



OPK Presentation

Are you interested in scheduling a One Pill Kills fentanyl awareness presentation? Through the Texas Highway Patrol’s Safety Education Service, DPS offers specialized programing to schools, churches, community groups and other organizations — including a presentation tailored to raising awareness about the dangers of fentanyl and helping keep Texans safe.

The One Pill Kills presentation can be tailored for a variety of audiences and age groups, and it is available free of charge. Click here to learn more and connect with a safety education representative in your area.

Request Presentation Button



In September 2022, Governor Abbott ordered state agencies to raise awareness and launch coordinated efforts to inform and educate the public on the dangers of fentanyl, its lethality and prevalence across Texas. Below are actions recently taken by Governor Abbott in the fight against fentanyl.


As part of our fentanyl awareness public relations campaign, DPS is providing the following materials for use to promote the dangers of fentanyl.

  • Download and share our series of posters about the dangers of fentanyl.

                       Fentanyl Poster 1     Fentanyl Poster 2     Fentanyl Poster 3

                       Download                                Download                               Download

  • Social Media Graphics: Download and share across your social media platforms.

                        Fentanyl Social Media Graphic 1     Fentanyl Social Media Graphic 2    

                         Download                                         Download  

                        Fentanyl Social Media Graphic 3     Fentanyl Social Media Graphic 4  

                         Download                                         Download


OOG Newsroom Fentanyl interview Fentanyl seizure

Governor Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) seized over 3.1 million lethal doses of fentanyl, or about 14 pounds, during a single Operation Lone Star (OLS) traffic stop in Mission. This seizure marks one of the largest single fentanyl seizures by OLS to date.

"Through Texas' historic Operation Lone Star mission, a DPS trooper prevented 3.1 million lethal doses of fentanyl—enough to kill every Texan in Austin, Dallas, and El Paso combined—from taking more innocent lives during a single traffic stop," said Governor Abbott. "I thank our brave DPS troopers, and all Operation Lone Star mission personnel, for their work to secure our border and keep Texans safe."

McCraw interview

Watch as DPS Director Steven McCraw talks with FOX News about the dangers of the growing fentanyl crisis, the efforts by Governor Abbott to combat this and how Mexican drug cartels are targeting children.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/texas-authorities-bust-fentanyl-lab-houston-disguised-car-rental FOX News Story

"Mexican drug cartels are smuggling fentanyl into our country any way they can,” he (Governor Abbott) said. “It is laced into every other street drug available, as well as being disguised as legal prescriptions, as this lab has discovered. Because of the folks at this lab, who handle potentially lethal drugs every day, we are saving the lives of thousands of Texans from the deadly scourge of fentanyl."

FOX News Article 2

“An agent at the crime lab, Jennifer Hatch, told Carter that as new drugs emerge, and 'new analogs' appear, she and her colleagues are doing their best to combat the drug surge, as well as to figure out what quantities of the deadly toxin are coming into the United States.

“Hatch said it takes only 2 mg of fentanyl, which Carter showed was a barely visible few crystals in a test tube, to kill an adult.

"Those drugs, Carter said, have made their way into places like schools and elsewhere — where at times unsuspecting drug users ingest a cocktail that includes trace amounts of the narcotic; enough to kill them.”

Drug bust

"The problem with that is that those [fake] pills can be made so well that the average user would have no idea what they got from a regular pharmacy and what was actually made at a place like this," Lt. Craig Cummings said.


Help DPS spread the message. Share and utilize the resources on this page to help us educate Texans on the dangers of fentanyl. Together, we can make a difference and stop this deadly drug from killing any more of our fellow Texans.

[Data Note: Seizure data represents an extract from a live database, and information is subject to change. The records may not represent the totality of all seizures as existing records are reviewed, approved, and updated, and additional reports are processed. Fentanyl reporting is considered preliminary until verified by lab tests. 2 mg of fentanyl is considered a potentially lethal dose. Pounds are converted to mg, then divided by two to derive lethal doses.]
*Stat as of 05/10/2024