What heroin and cocaine were in times gone by, the recreational drug of choice, it’s now Fentanyl, a powerful opioid described by some as 100 times stronger than morphine.
It mostly comes out of Mexico to the U.S., after being made of products that mostly come from China.
But it’s being battled by law enforcement, lawmakers and more, because it’s now the No. 1 killer of people ages 18-48, and one father who lost a son to the epidemic is calling it a weapon of mass destruction.
One of the most recent arrests by law enforcement in its crusade against Fentanyl came just days ago in Watsonville, California, where suspects Alberto Galvan, 26 and Joscelyn Torres-Leon, 24, are facing charges of possession of Fentanyl for sale.
It had been at virtually the same time that lawmakers in New Mexico were moving to cut down on the drug’s death toll.
The plan in New Mexico, where fatal overdoses have reached record numbers, would allow the possession of Fentanyl test strips and let the state Department of Health decide what supplies drug users need to reduce the spread of diseases.
In the state in 2020, officials reported 304 fentanyl overdose deaths between January and November, a 135% increase over 2019. Unintentional overdoses account for numerous deaths and test strips could save those who don’t know Fentanyl is in the drug they’re using.
And a report from MSN revealed Fentanyl now, according to the Centers for Disease Control, is the predominant killer for those Americans ages 18-48.
“In the past two years, deaths from Fentanyl have significantly exceeded deaths from COVID-19 for this age group,” the report said. “The overdoses cut across gender, race, socioeconomic status and geography.”
The report continued, “And it’s a trend we must address. Congress should swiftly deploy resources to support young people contending with drug addiction. Boosting funding for treatment centers and ensuring equitable geographic access to these centers should be a top priority this year.”
James Rauh, the founder of Families Against Fentanyl, told Fox News that the crisis has seen deaths from the drug double in 30 states just since 2019.
He said the nation needs to declare the drug a “weapon of mass destruction” because it is, in fact, an “existential threat” to the nation’s security.
Rauh lost his son to a Fentanyl overdose several years ago, and told “America’s Newroom,” “We need to shut off this material at its source, and a WMD designation would be an all-of-government response in order to shut off the supply of the precursors and the Fentanyl coming into the United States.
“It’ll give us tools that we’re not using, and it would be a very effective means to end this terrible devastation that’s happening to our young adults and to our country as a whole. This material is an existential threat to our national security,” he said.
Also, Alaska, Colorado, Louisiana Mississippi, California and Texas saw their numbers quintuple over that time.
Rauh described the drug’s impact on his son, who died in 2015.
“He didn’t have a chance. It was a dose that would have killed hundreds of people, was sent over by Chinese nationals through the mail,” Rauh said. “The Chinese are supplying the precursors to Mexico, and Mexico, shipping this in unbelievable quantities.”
He warned, “The quantities are so alarming that it’s indicative of stockpiling, Their Fentanyl deaths have doubled and the whole nation just about in two years, which is a terrible sign…This is a poisoning of our children, our families.”
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