Waco (FOX 44) — Gov. Greg Abbott is in Waco Tuesday to hold what is being called Fentanyl Crisis Roundtable press conference.

Gov. Abbott plans to discuss ongoing efforts with local and state law enforcement. Along with Gov. Abbott, McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara and Texas DPS Director Steve McCraw will be in attendance.

Fentanyl is a very powerful synthetic opioid that has caused thousands of overdoses and deaths over the past two decades. In August 2022, drug enforcement authorities noted that pills containing fentanyl were being manufactured in various colors. DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said, “Rainbow fentanyl – fentanyl pills and powder that come in a variety of bright colors, shapes and sizes – is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults.”

An increasing number of fake prescription pills that contain potentially deadly fentanyl are helping drive overdose death rates to record levels in the U.S., including some now manufactured in rainbow colors designed to look like candy, federal officials said Tuesday.

Drug Enforcement Administration agents are working to crack down on violent drug cartels in Mexico believed to be trafficking the drugs into the U.S., Attorney General Merrick Garland said. Between May and September, the DEA and local police around the country seized more than 10 million fentanyl pills and hundreds of pounds of powder, he said.

Vastly powerful synthetic drugs like fentanyl are behind record overdose deaths in the U.S. Law enforcement officials nationwide have been struggling to combat the surge of drugs in urban and rural communities. The global coronavirus pandemic has overshadowed the American opioid epidemic, but when overdose deaths surpassed 100,000 during the 12-month period ending in April 2021, it rocketed back into the public consciousness.