COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KREX) — The war against fentanyl continues in the state, and authorities gathered in Colorado Springs to address what they call a public health and safety crisis.

Experts say fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin, and 100 times stronger than morphine. An amount on the tip of a pencil can kill a human being.

The El Paso County District Attorney says overdose deaths in Colorado are surging more than 380% leading every state except Alaska.

The CDC now says fentanyl is a leading cause of death among adults ages 18 to 45.

Authorities at the state and federal levels are taking aim at dealers distributing the deadly drug in Colorado. El Paso County District Attorney, Michael Allen says, “Fentanyl is quite simply the most dangerous drug on our streets today and is frankly, the deadliest illicit drug society has ever faced.”

Authorities say the powerful synthetic opioid is commonly mixed with other dangerous drugs, and used in counterfeit pills looking identical to prescription drugs. Cole Finegan the US Attorney District of Colorado says, “Together, we are taking dead aim at the criminals who make and distribute this deadly drug that is killing our children, it is killing our neighbors, it is killing families, it is killing people throughout our state.”

KREX 5 will continue to provide updates on the fight against fentanyl.