For the first time in U.S. history, more fentanyl than heroin has been intercepted by federal law enforcement at the country’s borders.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data, 11,201 pounds of fentanyl was seized in fiscal year 2021, compared to 5,400 pounds of heroin. Other drugs seized include 319,447 pounds of marijuana, 190,861 pounds of methamphetamine, 97,638 pounds of cocaine, and 10,848 pounds of ketamine.
2,158 pounds of fentanyl has been seized in fiscal year 2022 to date, compared to 277 pounds of heroin.
The amount of heroin seized at the border decreased from 5,763 pounds in 2020, while the amount of fentanyl seized has exploded from 4,791 pounds in 2020.
“Not only were fentanyl seizures at the highest level ever recorded, but fentanyl overdoses within the United States also hit new highs, indicating the success that transnational criminal organizations had in pushing their deadly products to the public,” reported The Washington Examiner.
In December 2021, a DEA investigation identified a “direct link between fentanyl-related overdose deaths and criminal drug networks in Mexico.”
“Mexican criminal drug networks are harnessing the perfect drug trafficking tool: social media applications that are available on every smartphone,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said. “They are using these platforms to flood our country with fentanyl. The ease with which drug dealers can operate on social media and other popular smartphone apps is fueling our Nation’s unprecedented overdose epidemic.”
As The Daily Wire noted, from May 2020 to May 2021, America reached a deadly milestone. 100,255 Americans died of drug overdoses, the first time more than 100,000 people died in such a way, with much of the increase being driven by the stream of fentanyl flooding the country.
“Fentanyl or other synthetic opioids are involved in 64% of all overdoses, according to the CDC. Over the same period, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized twice as much fentanyl — which is between 80 and 100 times stronger than morphine — than it did last year,” The Daily Wire explained.
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that fentanyl-related deaths in the United States have nearly doubled since 2019. The CDC data were compiled by the group Families Against Fentanyl, and also reveal that the powerful opioid is now the leading killer of American adults ages 18-45, causing more deaths than suicide, COVID-19, and car accidents.
As reported by Fox News, “Between 2020 and 2021, nearly 79,000 people between 18 and 45 years old — 37,208 in 2020 and 41,587 in 2021 — died of fentanyl overdoses, the data analysis from opioid awareness organization Families Against Fentanyl shows.”
“This is a national emergency. America’s young adults — thousands of unsuspecting Americans — are being poisoned,” James Rauh, founder of Families Against Fentanyl, told Fox News. “It is widely known that illicit fentanyl is driving the massive spike in drug-related deaths. A new approach to this catastrophe is needed.”
In January 2021, the Congressional Research Service stated that China remains a major producer of illegal fentanyl, which is smuggled into the U.S. by traffickers, often through the mail.
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.