AMES, Iowa — The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration recently issued a safety alert about the dangers of counterfeit drugs containing lethal doses of fentanyl and methamphetamine. It's their first such alert in six years.
"The drug overdose crisis in the United States is a serious public safety threat with rates currently reaching the highest level in history," the notice says.
The DEA's plea comes as the number of deaths involving opioids is on the rise in Iowa.
Opioid-related deaths in Iowa were 157 in 2019, according to Iowa Department of Public Health Data. That number jumped to 213 in 2020.
One Ames mom is fighting to bring awareness to the issue, hoping Congress passes the NOPAIN Act to give patients more options for managing pain.
"She was just one of those special people that you want to make sure that you cross paths with," said Natasha Terrones, whose daughter Tashara died of an overdose just before Christmas five years ago.
WATCH: First responders warn of increasing fentanyl overdoses in central Iowa