The World Affairs Council of Orange County presents:
Unraveling the Deadly Grip of Fentanyl on America & The World featuring:
State Senator Tom Umberg
California is facing an unprecedented drug crisis both in scale and nature, requiring timely legislative responses. Fentanyl, a type of synthetic opioid, is responsible for over two-thirds of drug-related deaths, which spiked last year to 21,000 in California alone. The crisis is especially prevalent in Orange County, with deaths by fentanyl overdose reported to have gone up by 177%, and more potent analogs of fentanyl continued to be found. Moreover, fentanyl is often unknowingly consumed by individuals who believe they are taking other drugs, meaning that the fatal risk of a fentanyl overdose is not taken into consideration by those accidentally taking them, resulting in preventable deaths. Fentanyl precursors are largely sourced from abroad, in places like China and India, which are then shipped to Mexico, where most production takes place. Collaboration with these countries to crack down on fentanyl’s production and movement is integral if wish to halt the fentanyl epidemic in the United States.
To tackle this urgent crisis, Senator Tom Umberg proposes several legislative measures: Senate Bill 60, aimed at preventing drug sales on social media, a main outlet for illicit drugs for the youth; Senate Bill 250, expanding the 9-1-1 Good Samaritan Law and providing fentanyl immunity, encouraging people to report their dealers; Senate Concurrent Resolution 39, establishing National Fentanyl Awareness Day; and Senate Bill 44, also known as Alexandra’s Law, which aims to hold fentanyl sellers accountable for homicide and prevent fentanyl-related deaths through warnings.
An In-Person Dinner Event
Date & Time:
Wednesday, September 20, 2023
5:30 PM: Reception
6:30 PM: Main Program & Q&A
CSUF Titan Student Union
800 N. State College Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92831
Early Bird Registration!
Register by Sept 13 to receive discounted ticket prices.
Discounted prices below:
Young Professionals members: $35
Thank you to our community partner, ClearSaves!
ClearSaves is an altruistic nonprofit endeavor fervently committed to engendering positive change within society by championing harm reduction. Through its innovative modus operandi, ClearSaves aspires to furnish the populace with vital resources that facilitate the safeguarding of human lives from the perilous peripheries of the opioid crisis.
Check out the ClearSaves table at our event for resources and information on how you can help.
Thank you to our community partner, FentanylSolution.org!
FentanylSolution.org’s mission is to deliver comprehensive education, powerful advocacy, and unwavering community support to eradicate fentanyl deaths in the United States.
Check out the Fentanyl Solution booth at our event for more information and resources on the fentanyl crisis!Senate Holds Hearing on Illicit Fentanyl Epidemic
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.