DEA warning that Mexican drug cartels are flooding US with fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills.
As COVID ravages our elderly population, another epidemic stemming from China is slamming our young adults.
Newly released data shows that the leading killer of Americans aged 18 to 45 is fentanyl overdoses, with nearly 79,000 people in the age range dying of them between 2020 and 2021.
“Families Against Fentanyl,” an opioid awareness organization, analyzed the data from U.S. government sources and found 37,208 died in 2020 and 41,587 died in 2021. Comparatively, data says COVID-19 killed more than 53,000 in the demographic in the same time period.
Fentanyl overdoses reportedly surpassed suicide, COVID-19, and car accidents as the leading cause of death for the demographic.
“This is a national emergency. America’s young adults — thousands of unsuspecting Americans — are being poisoned,” the founder of Families Against Fentanyl, James Rauh, said according to Fox News. “It is widely known that illicit fentanyl is driving the massive spike in drug-related deaths. A new approach to this catastrophe is needed.”
And it is not just the intentional users at risk, either. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is now issuing an urgent warning that Mexican cartels are now selling counterfeit opioid pills laced with fentanyl. The compound is 50 times more potent than heroin, and the move makes the nation’s illegal drug supply more deadly.
Federal authorities say they are encountering more pills passing for medications such as oxycodone that contain fentanyl. They have seized more than 20 million fake pills this year, the vast majority containing fentanyl, the Drug Enforcement Administration said Thursday.
“The supply of these pills is going up exponentially,” said Joseph Palamar, an associate professor and drug epidemiologist at New York University Langone Health. “They are easy to transport and difficult to track. Pills are the ultimate fake out. You can fake out your parents, your friends, your partner, law enforcement.”
The mass production of such pills by Mexican cartels has escalated the threat, according to the DEA. Pill-related deaths are particularly common in the western U.S., a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said Tuesday. Fentanyl appears to be gaining ground there after surfacing mainly in eastern states for years.
Finally, here is a stark reminder it is not just the drug abusers who are dying from fentanyl. A Milwaukee mother is accused of the death of her 15-month-old child in July after his sippy cup tested positive for the compound.
According to the complaint, at 1:30 p.m., Harris’ mother woke Harris to request a ride. When Harris reached over to the child, he “was cold to the touch.” She called 911.
Detectives collected evidence in the bedroom where the child was found — including two sippy cups. During this collection, one detective’s face became numb and tingly. The detective became concerned that she came into contact with a substance that caused the reaction – and she left the room.
The complaint indicates on July 22, a forensic toxicologist with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office reported both sippy cups were “tested and returned a positive result for the presence of fentanyl.” On Aug. 11, a doctor ruled the child’s cause of death was “due to mixed drug toxicity.”
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