The drug pku, a synthetic opioid that is sometimes called fentanyl, is being blamed for a surge in opioid-related deaths in Mexico, with experts warning that the drug’s availability is fueling a surge of overdoses.
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization released a report that said more than 2,300 people have died of opioid overdoses in Mexico in the last year.
The report said Mexico’s opioid death rate, which has spiked since 2016, is “the highest among industrialized nations.”
It said that in 2016, the death rate was 13 per 100,000 people.
It also said that a growing number of deaths are caused by prescription opioids, which are considered by some to be a safer alternative to heroin.
According to the WHO, more than 4,400 people died of an opioid overdose in Mexico last year, including nearly 1,400 who were injecting the drug.
More: The Drug Enforcement Administration released a new alert about pku on Wednesday, warning that it’s becoming increasingly popular with Mexican drug cartels.
And on Wednesday night, Mexico’s president tweeted a photo of a drug addict with the caption, “A pku for $25” (roughly $1.20 USD).
He later tweeted another photo of another addict with a caption that read, “With this pku I can buy a bottle of wine and some food.”