Texas Stepping Up Efforts to Address Fentanyl Crisis Affecting Communities


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has asked heads of state agencies to “investigate ways to improve all aspects of the state’s response to” the fentanyl crisis, including creating publicity announcements. public interest, posting flyers in prominent places around regulated facilities, staff training or education. Opportunities.

They were also instructed to prepare “to outline legislative changes, budget priorities, and other initiatives that will strengthen the state’s ability to interdict this dangerous drug, provide emergency overdose treatment, and expand drug treatment programs” before the 2023 legislative session and coordinate their efforts with the Texas Opioid Abatement Fund Council.

In a letter sent to agency heads, Abbott wrote: ‘It has become clear that fentanyl is impacting people with and without substance use disorders. Unfortunately, most people who experience a fentanyl-related death probably didn’t know they were ingesting the deadly drug. Many of those poisoned unknowingly ingested deadly counterfeits that appeared to be prescription drugs, which were acquired outside of the healthcare system.

His letter comes after 18 state attorneys general called on President Joe Biden to label illicit fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction. Montgomery County, Texas Sheriff Rand Henderson also requested that it be labeled as an ADM and Tulare County, Calif. Sheriff Mike Boudreaux says fentanyl pills “crossing our southern border is absolutely one of the most big problems we face as a country.”

Two milligrams of synthetic opioid, the weight of a mosquito, is deadly. One teaspoon contains about 5,000 milligrams, enough to kill 2,500 people. One pound of fentanyl, or 453,592 milligrams, could kill 226,796 people.

In 2021, Texas reported an 89% increase in fentanyl-related deaths compared to 2020.

Fentanyl is the leading cause of death for adults in the United States between the ages of 18 and 45. In 2020, 77% of all adolescent overdose deaths involved fentanyl, according to research published by JAMA.

In the United States, most fentanyl-containing drugs are made by Mexican cartels and look like legitimate prescription drugs. They are easier and cheaper to produce than other types of illicit drugs and can easily be carried in backpacks or hidden inside cargo being transported across the border. More recently, candy-like “rainbow fentanyl” pills are flooding the market and are intentionally marketed to children.

“Put simply, fentanyl is a covert killer and Texans are victimized by the cartels that produce it,” Abbott said. “Because of the threats posed by an open border and in the absence of federal action,” he launched the Texas border security mission, Operation Lone Star, last March. Since then, Texas Department of Public Safety officials have seized more than 336 million lethal doses of fentanyl, enough fentanyl to kill every man, woman and child in the United States.

In July alone, US Customs and Border Protection seized 2,100 pounds of illicit fentanyl. In fiscal year 2021, CBP officers seized 11,200 pounds of fentanyl. So far in fiscal year 2022, they have seized 10,600 pounds.

So far, in the two fiscal years, CBP officers have confiscated enough fentanyl to kill nearly 5 billion people.

The world population is currently 7.9 billion people, according to Worldometer.

While the efforts of law enforcement “are remarkable and commendable”, Abbott says they “cannot end this crisis alone”.

By Bethany Blankley

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