Fentanyl is number one on Americans’ minds. “In second place on the list of public health problems was obesity. Meanwhile, the threat of people’s access to guns faded to third place on the list, with 20% of people citing the concern, down from 26% who cited guns as a public health threat in May. Cancer trailed in fourth place, with 11% of people mentioning the disease.” — WebMD
““We’re finding that six out of every 10 pills have a deadly amount of fentanyl…It only takes two milligrams to kill somebody.” — DEA
“Drug overdose death rates were higher in 2021 than in 2020 for all age groups 25 and over.” Although the rates for seniors were lower, the percentages were higher. — CDC
The fentanyl crisis has become a pressing concern across the United States, with devastating consequences for individuals and communities. Janice M. Celeste, President & CEO of FentanylSolution.org and The Fentanyl Solution Group, is helping to lead the charge to combat this crisis. Recently, Celeste attended “Wake Up Newport,” an event hosted by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, where she met with District Attorney Todd Spitzer to discuss the fentanyl crisis in Orange County. In this meeting, Spitzer shared his plan to take Orange County cases of fentanyl poisonings and prosecute them at the federal level, where prosecutors don’t have to prove intent. This move comes as California law requires that prosecutors prove that the dealer knew there was fentanyl in the counterfeit pill to hold them accountable for the harm caused by the drug.
Watch Todd Spitzer’s talk about fentanyl in Orange County
The fentanyl crisis has been growing exponentially, with the drug being the leading cause of death for 18-45-year-olds in the U.S. Additionally, Fentanyl is the number one killer of children in Orange County, California. In California, 110 people die from fentanyl every year. Shockingly, 98 percent of pills sold on social media are fake, according to the DEA.
-In response to the fentanyl crisis, Senator Tom Umberg presented SB44, a bill with an admonishment similar to a DUI. FentanylSolution.org was an official supporter of SB44, which reads that if a drug dealer is caught with fentanyl they are read a warning that if they go out and sell fentanyl again and somebody dies, you will be prosecuted for murder.-
Unfortunately, Umberg’s bill did not make it past the California Public Safety Commission. However, The Fentanyl Solution Group is sponsoring a proposition for the Presidential ballot, which will allow the people of California to vote for stronger laws against drug dealers who kill. You can support our proposition by contacting us at 888-931-6244 and letting us know how you can get involved.
In a speech at the “Wake Up Newport” event, Spitzer warned about the proliferation of fentanyl in Orange County. He highlighted the importance of holding drug dealers accountable for the harm caused by fentanyl and spoke about the difficulty of proving intent in fentanyl-related cases. Prosecuting these cases at the federal level, where intent does not need to be proven, is a temporary way to address the issue.
The fentanyl crisis is a complex issue that requires a multifaceted approach. Celeste and FentanylSolution.org are working tirelessly to raise awareness of the dangers of fentanyl and push for stronger laws to hold drug dealers accountable for their actions.
The fentanyl crisis is a major public health issue that demands urgent attention and action. We must work together to raise awareness, improve access to addiction treatment, and hold drug dealers accountable for the harm caused by fentanyl. You can support the efforts of organizations like FentanylSolution.org and take action to combat this deadly epidemic by volunteering or donating. Signup on our website or go to the donation page here.
President Joe Biden’s drug czar has declared that the use of fentanyl mixed with Xylazine, an animal tranquilizer known as “tranq,” has become an emerging threat across the United States. The use of this drug combination has been linked to a sharp increase in overdose deaths, and the government is required to develop a federal plan to address the crisis. This declaration by Dr. Rahul Gupta, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, marks the first time a presidential administration has formally labeled an illicit drug an “emerging threat” and then required the federal government to take further action.
What is fentanyl mixed with Xylazine, and why is it a problem?
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is often mixed with other drugs to increase its potency. Xylazine is a veterinary sedative approved for use in animals, but not for human use.
When mixed with fentanyl and sold on the illicit drug market, it has caused a sharp increase in overdose deaths across the United States. Xylazine, which is not an opioid, cannot be counteracted by the opioid overdose antidote, naloxone, in case of an overdose.The spread of Xylazine-laced fentanyl has exacerbated the nationwide addiction crisis, ravaging communities and deepening the toll of addiction.
Why is this an emerging threat?
The federal government has reported that overdose deaths involving Xylazine have risen in every region of the country in recent years. From 2020 to 2021, Xylazine-linked deaths increased more than 1,000% in the South, 750% in the West, and more than 500% in the Midwest, according to a DEA report (DEA Report). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 66% of drug poisoning deaths in the United States involve synthetic opioids like fentanyl (CDC).
What actions will the federal government take?
The declaration by Dr. Gupta requires the Biden administration to develop a federal plan to address the crisis. The government must publish a response plan within 90 days and send implementation guidance to agencies within 120 days, among other actions. The federal government will be mindful that Xylazine has legitimate uses in the veterinary profession and the agriculture industry while working on a whole-of-government response.
What are the dangers of ingesting xylazine?
Xylazine is not approved for human use, and ingesting it can cause serious, life-threatening effects, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). People who inject it can develop flesh wounds, including blackened, rotting tissue (known as necrosis), which, if untreated, may result in amputation, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
In conclusion, the use of fentanyl mixed with Xylazine is an emerging threat facing the United States that has caused a sharp increase in overdose deaths. The federal government is required to develop a response plan to address this crisis, which includes evidence-based prevention, treatment, and supply reduction. It is important for parents to be aware of the dangers of drug use and to educate their children about the risks involved.
On February 15, 2023, the U.S. Senate convened a hearing on illicit fentanyl where a panel and lawmakers discussed the issue along with possible international strategies to combat the growing epidemic.
Along with a panel comprised of Anne Milgram, the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Dr. Raul Gupta, the Director of the National Drug Control Policy, and Secretary Todd Robinson, the Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, 14 senators from various states including, Ted Cruz (TX), Cory Booker (NJ), Tim Scott (SC), Jim Risch (ID), Chris Murphy (CT), Pete Ricketts (NE), Ben Cardin (MD), Bill Hagerty (TN), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Tim Kaine (VA), Jeff Merkley (OR), Todd Young (IN) and Chris Van Holen (MD), and the chairman of the hearing, Bob Menendez (NJ) worked to get a grasp on the reasons behind the soaring overdose rates and ongoing fentanyl epidemic.
Milgram stated that in 2021, 100k Americans overdosed and that 70 percent of those overdoses were from fentanyl poisoning. She continued by saying that from August 2021 to August 2022, 107,735 American lives were lost to drug poisonings. At the end of last year, the DEA seized 57 million fake fentanyl pills, which was 13 thousand pounds of fentanyl that equaled 410 million deadly doses, according to Milgram. That is more than enough to kill every citizen in the United States and still have almost one million pills left over.
“From August 2021 to August 2022, 107,735 American lives were lost to drug poisonings.”
The head of the DEA also stated that social media is not doing enough to curb sales of fentanyl-laced pills, when young users can get access to drugs with just four to five clicks. She called social media a “superhighway for drugs.” Her testimony was poignant. When asked why the cartel would use deadly fentanyl in fake pills, she told the Senate that it’s to get their customers hooked since fentanyl is highly addictive, 50 times more addictive than heroin and 100 times more addictive than morphine. “If a user dies, it’s the cost of doing business,” Milgram said from the cartels’ point of view. If one person dies from a social media sale, there are millions more they can sell to, she said.
Closing the southern border was also discussed at the hearing since 90 percent of fentanyl is transported through ports of entry. That point was muted when Senator Booker quoted the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, who was not present at the hearing, as stating that almost all of the fentanyl seizures at the border were not trafficked by migrants, but by Americans. There was also a bipartisan push to put more pressure on China to do more to stop the import of materials used in making illicit fentanyl; and for Mexico to disband the two main cartels, the Sinaloa and the Jalisco, who make and distribute most of the fake fentanyl-laced pills that make their way into the United States.
You can watch the hearing, which is more than two-hours long, on C-Span, here Government Officials Testify on Fentanyl Trafficking | C-SPAN.org.