Anyone who takes even a cursory look at the news – regardless the source – has to be aware of fentanyl – the latest of the killer drugs assaulting our society. It wasn’t too long ago that virtually no one had ever heard of it. Now, it seems to be everywhere, and from what we are told, it is a killer of staggering proportions.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is said to be 50 times more potent than heroin. While the drug is found in all states, California is particularly hard hit, and the source, it appears, is movement of the drug across the border from Mexico, with Interstate 5 being a main trafficking route.
Authorities believe the original source of the drug is China, and there seems to be no limit to the quantity that ends up in the U.S. There is no information available as to whether our government has had any contact with China about this movement of the drug.
In a recent report from California Gov. Gavin Newsom, law enforcement, just in California this year, seized 28,765 pounds of the drug. According to Newsom, that’s enough to kill the entire of population of North America, TWICE!
Statistics show that seizures of fentanyl in California increased nearly six-fold in 2022. The concern is that use of the drug not only involves adults, but it’s found more and more frequently among students at every level of education, from primary schools to universities. A report was published in October that a fifth of the deaths of 15-24 year-old Californians in 2021 were directly attributable to fentanyl. That’s more than six times the number fentanyl killed three years earlier.
Clearly, it is a growing problem.
One of the aspects of the dangers for students is that fentanyl is often laced into other drugs – pain killers and other stimulants students often buy online. They think they’re getting the “intended use” of the pills yet are getting a fatal dose of the killer fentanyl along with it.
The movement of the drug across the Mexican border involves illegal aliens transporting it for the drug cartels. Thousands of aliens and thousands of pounds of the drug valued at hundreds of millions of dollars cross the border every single week.
Whether the Biden administration realizes or even acknowledges the magnitude of the problem is unknown. The president recently said there isn’t much going on at the border to be concerned about – he has never gone to the border itself. But now, there are reports from his office that he is planning a border trip for Sunday.
No word on what led to his change of mind. Regardless, it is an important issue and perhaps it indicates he realizes it. We’ll see.
There is a new law in California requiring that state universities and community colleges keep a supply of Narcan on hand to deal with fentanyl overdoses. Narcan is a nasal spray that can prevent fentanyl deaths. Public high schools are not at this time required to stock Narcan, but there is proposed legislation in Sacramento to remedy that.
Another aspect of this is that school staffs have to be trained how to recognize the signs of fentanyl poisoning in addition to how to administer Narcan to a victim.
As if parents don’t have enough to worry about raising children, now they have this new, deadly and easily available killer on the streets. How they can keep their children safe from fentanyl is a challenge Dr. Spock didn’t consider when he wrote is child-care book.
Our modern world is filled with dangers no one really anticipated, but they are out there. It’s time our society takes major steps to try to put an end to them. The lives of our children are at stake.