Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Tracking Fentanyl’s Deadly Path From China To Mexico To ODs In America; Families Hurt By Fentanyl Want COVID-Level Drive, and related stories

Tracking fentanyl’s deadly path from China to Mexico to ODs in America:
Fentanyl and other synthetic opiates were responsible for more than 71,000 fatal overdoses in the United States during 2021, according to the California Department of Health.
There is good reason for that grim statistic: Fentanyl, which often gets mixed into heroin or cocaine, not to mention bootlegged Oxycontin and Xanax pills, is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more powerful than morphine. It’s also cheaper to produce than either of those drugs.
In 2022, a record-setting 14,700 pounds of fentanyl shipments was seized by US Customs and Border Protection agents; this year alone, there’s already been 12,500 pounds snagged. But that’s still just a fraction of what enters the US. Here’s how it gets from the other side of the world to America’s main streets.
Step 1: China to west coast of Mexico
Chemists in Chinese laboratories produce powdered chemicals, such as 4-Piperidone, known as “precursors” that serve as fentanyl’s building blocks.
According to Ben Westhoff, author of “Fentanyl, Inc.: How Rogue Chemists Created the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic,” the Chinese labs maintain veneers of legitimacy and stay within China’s laws. But the bosses know that the chemicals are illicit elsewhere. “They showed me the fake packaging,” Westhoff, who toured labs in Wuhan, told The Post. “They put the precursors into boxes that look like they contain dog food and ship them to Mexico, usually by sea.” --->READ MORE HERE
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong 
Families hurt by fentanyl want COVID-level drive:
American teens unaware of dangers of synthetic opioids, fake pills
Grieving families and advocates say there is an alarming mismatch between the immediate and severe threat posed by fentanyl and the level of awareness across America, especially among young people who do not consume mainstream media.
They want the type of flood-the-zone coverage that COVID-19 received at the height of the pandemic, and they wish celebrities with millions of social media followers would step up to warn young people about fake pills and other fentanyl-laced drugs that can kill with a single dose.
“For 2½ years, we knew we were supposed to stay 6 feet away from each other and wear a damn mask and make sure you get your vaccines and all that,” said Steven Filson, secretary-treasurer of the California nonprofit Victims of Illicit Drugs, whose 29-year-old daughter, Jessica, died of fentanyl poisoning in 2020. “When are we going to start talking about fentanyl? And when are people going to understand fentanyl?”
Song for Charlie, a nonprofit that raises awareness of “fentapills,” said in a recent study that less than half of young Americans ages 13 to 24 (48%) and a little more than a third of teens (36%) are aware that fentanyl is being used to create counterfeit pills, which are major profit drivers for Mexican cartels.
Only 40% of young Americans, including 31% of teens, consider themselves knowledgeable about fentanyl. One in 10 teenagers and 1 in 5 young adults reported using prescription medicine without a doctor’s authorization. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to related stories:

CBP Seizes 6 Tons of Fentanyl in 2023, Nearly Matches 2022 Total

CBP: Fentanyl Smugglers Increasing Use of U.S. Mail, Express Carriers

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