(TheRedAlertNews.com) – The US government has repeatedly failed to tackle successfully the fentanyl crisis, which has become the “most lethal drug crisis” in US history, according to a report.
An estimated 196 Americans are dying daily from fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, which has emerged as the leading cause of death for people aged 18-49.
The US government bodies tasked with fighting drug trafficking have actually “contributed to fentanyl flooding into the US,” The Washington Post reports.
As per their estimates, federal agencies are catching between 5% and 10% of all fentanyl trafficked into the US from Mexico.
The report lists the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) as failing to crack down on fentanyl contraband.
It blamed the DEA for not reacting quickly when Mexican cartels supplanted Chinese producers of fentanyl producers, while the DHS hasn’t boosted scanning and inspections of border crossings.
At the same time, the ONDCP failed to keep its seat in the White House Cabinet.
“Law enforcement did the best it could,” said David King, who heads a federal drug task force in San Diego, California.
“We can only do so much. But in Washington, they have been very slow to respond to this, and now we are at the confluence of paralysis,” he added.
Anne Milgram, the DEA Administrator, argued the US government had concentrated on heroin trafficking while the Mexican drug cartels hiked synthetic opioid production.
“It is a new, deeper, more deadly threat than we have ever seen, and I don’t think that the full extent of that harm was immediately seen in 2015,” Milgram argued.
The US Health Department hasn’t tracked fentanyl use. Its data only shows that over 9 million Americans “misused opioids” in 2020.
The federal government does have a system called ODMAP which gathers real-time overdose data in some parts of the country, but it is not open to the public.
“This is like tracking the epidemic by visiting cemeteries,” commented John P. Walters, the government’s former drug czar during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.
“We’re not measuring what’s coming into the country in real-time. We’re not measuring what’s happening with the health consequences and where to put resources to buffer those health consequences. Our drug-control strategy is an embarrassment, and it doesn’t begin to propose a way of reversing this problem,” the expert added.
Fatal overdoses of fentanyl surged 94% between 2019 and 2021 as the crisis worsened during the coronavirus pandemic.
Since the summer, US border agents have been seizing about 2,200 pounds of fentanyl monthly, more than the total they caught in 2018. Over half of that is captured in San Diego.
FENTANYL CRISIS: Successive U.S. administrations have failed to curtail or stop the "most lethal drug crisis in American history," according to a report. https://t.co/X5KYH4RYe5 pic.twitter.com/6kVWrZunCu
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) December 12, 2022