The government has reported that, since the year 2020, fentanyl overdoses have become the new leading cause of death for American adults between the ages of 18 and 45, as reported by Fox News.
The analysis from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) shows that nearly 79,000 Americans died from the drug between 2020 and 2021. Of those, just over 37,000 died in 2020 while almost 42,000 died in 2021. Fentanyl is an opioid that is sometimes laced with other drugs such as meth and heroin when used by addicts, but can also be deadly on its own in even small doses. The primary foreign sources for imports of the drug are China and Mexico.
Fentanyl overdoses have surpassed all other leading causes of death in the last two years. By contrast, only about 53,000 Americans between the ages of 18 and 49 died of the Chinese coronavirus from 2020 to 2021. Fentanyl has also claimed more lives in this age group than car accidents, suicide, gun violence, and breast cancer, among others. The number of overall fentanyl deaths in the last two years has also surpassed previous years’ totals, doubling from about 33,000 to 64,000 between 2019 and 2021.
James Rauh, the founder of Families Against Fentanyl, declared the opioid epidemic to be “a national emergency,” and said that “America’s young adults – thousands of unsuspecting Americans – are being poisoned.”
“It is widely known that illicit fentanyl is driving the massive spike in drug-related deaths,” Rauh continued. “A new approach to this catastrophe is needed.” He called for the federal government to “declare illicit fentanyl a Weapon of Mass Destruction,” as doing so “would activate additional and necessary federal resources to root out the international manufacturers and traffickers of illicit fentanyl and save American lives.”
One of the root causes of the opioid crisis has been mass immigration, with drug traffickers using the border to transport drugs such as fentanyl into the United States. In the fiscal year 2021, border patrol authorities have already seized over 11,000 pounds of fentanyl at the border, which Customs and Border Protection (CBP) says is a record high.
Although Joe Biden has taken an open-borders approach to immigration since taking office, he acknowledged the threat of the increased drug trafficking by signing an executive order on Wednesday, declaring sanctions against any foreign individual who is involved in the trafficking and production of illicit drugs.
“I find that international drug trafficking — including the illicit production, global sale and widespread distribution of illegal drugs, the rise of extremely potent drugs such as fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, as well as the growing role of internet-based drug sales,” the order reads, in part, “constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States.”