Fentanyl Crisis: The Killing of Americans
When Donald Trump calls for the death penalty for drug dealers, it shocks some people. After all, it is an extreme stance to take. Countries that execute drug dealers are typically totalitarian governments, which President Trump has pointed out in his speeches. To be sure, there is a reason for these extreme comparisons. Fentanyl has become one of the leading causes of death in the United States.
According to the CDC, Fentanyl is now the number one cause of death for Americans ages 18 to 45. Surpassing suicide, Covid-19, and car accident-related deaths.
What is Pharmaceutical Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that was made for medical purposes. In 1957, the pharmaceutical fentanyl was developed as a pain management solution for cancer patients. As an opioid, fentanyl is 100 times stronger than morphine. As a result, the pharmaceutical drug was very effective in treating moderate to severe pain. Doctors prescribed fentanyl to treat severe pain in advanced-stage cancer patients and postoperative patients.
However, fentanyl’s powerful opioid properties can be dangerous and abused. It was not long before fentanyl found a new purpose as an illicit substance. This led to the creation of illicitly manufactured fentanyl.
From Pharmaceutical to Street Drug
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration states that pharmaceutical fentanyl’s opioid properties are what allows it to be diverted for abuse. While drugs like heroin require cultivation, synthetic opioid is easier and cheaper to produce. In addition, fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin itself and requires less to get people high. As a result, drug cartels began to produce illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF) because of its heroin-like effects and potency.
Illicitly manufactured fentanyl is often added to other drugs to make more powerful and addictive drugs. This also makes IMF-laced drugs dangerous. IMF’s powered form looks exactly like heroin and other drugs. In addition, IMF is often turned into pills so they look like regular prescription medication. As a result, many people are unaware that they are taking the IMF.
Although the government is trying to stop the production of IMF, the majority of this fentanyl is not being produced in the United States. Instead, it is being produced across our border.
Across the Border
In 2020, the DEA released an intelligence report about the flow of illicitly manufactured fentanyl into the United States. The intelligence report detailed that China, Mexico, and India are the biggest sources of IMF. According to the document, the primary source of fentanyl and substances are coming from China. However, the IMF drug market is far more diverse. While China is the biggest source, the manufacturing of fentanyl-laced drugs like clandestinely-produced fentanyl is being done in Mexico.
In a recent segment on Lindell TV, Mike Lindell discusses how the cartels are exploiting this weakness to smuggle fentanyl across the border. Fentanyl is pouring into cities like Chicago he said and agrees with President Trump’s call for extreme measures. Furthermore, according to Robert Almonte, a Texas-based security consultant, border control agents are overwhelmed by the influx of migrants that they cannot search for IMF.
Border agents are not getting the support they need from the federal government to stop the flow of fentanyl, which is killing thousands of Americans.
In the 1980s, smuggling cocaine over the southern border was at an all-time high. To reduce the flow of narcotics, border control put a chokehold on its influx. The federal government gave funding so all vehicles entering and leaving the country would be inspected. However, when facing a more potent and lethal drug, the federal government is leaving the border officers to drown and cartels to get their product in. What does all of this mean?
Fentanyl is Killing Americans
According to the CDC, fentanyl is a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the United States. Yet, the government is not taking an active part in preventing the import of the IMF into the country. Although the United States is putting some pressure on China, the distribution and creation of fentanyl are happening in Mexico and India as well.
The situation is untenable. Americans need to speak out and convince our government that this crisis goes hand in hand with the Biden administration’s neglect at the border. Much of the fentanyl crisis can be attributed to the removal or lack of enforcement of Trump Era policies like Title 42 and US-China Counternarcotics Cooperation. Meanwhile, cartels are using desperate migrants to smuggle dangerous substances over the border. Or, they are sending massive groups to one area while sneaking past our overwhelmed border patrol.
The flow of illicitly manufactured fentanyl can be tightened effectively using previous measures and heightened public awareness. President Trump’s take may seem harsh to some people but every day, opioids like IMF are killing thousands of Americans. It’s past time our government does more about it!