Fearing Fentanyl

The problem of Fentanyl its self, and the much more dangerous solutions proposed


Henry Haley, news editor

A true scourge and plague that we find within our families, communities and this country as a whole are drugs. A form of corrosion that forces our societal infrastructure to fall from within, and ruin our way of life. While those impacted may suffer from the disease and vice of addiction, a new epidemic has joined national headlines. Fentanyl has become a drug not only consumed but laced with other substances, unbeknownst to the user. While I in no way condone the use of drugs, I believe they are a cheap thrill that leads to a life of escapism and makes those who part take less likely to contribute to our society, there is still a need to remove this vile substance to stop the growing overdose and fentanyl-related deaths.

Fentanyl is the latest evolution in this virus within the opioid epidemic.  The narcotic has become the new face of the opioid crisis and is growing further in the number of deaths. Synthetic opioid (primarily fentanyl) overdose deaths outnumbered every other narcotic in 2021 according to the National Institute for Drug Abuse. The Institute recorded a total of 70,601 deaths attributed primarily to fentanyl. Simply, a deadly dose of the substance can be around two milligrams, with an overdose occurring at such a small threshold it leaves unsuspecting drug users in danger while of course, those who take drugs should understand the consequences of it physically on the body, but also on other aspects of their life: mental health, family, and relationships. Even though someone may use drugs and perhaps cause harm to others, this still does not warrant the chance of overdose which the rapid distribution of fentanyl has made more likely.

So with a background of our nation’s affliction, I can finally start to rant about my opinion of this event. I want to look into the reaction and proposed plans of action to treat and stop this substance from entering our communities. At the national scale, the White House has proposed solutions such as: increasing the availability of naloxone (overdose cure), crackdowns on drug trafficking, and also working on the untreated addiction that these Americans deal with. While these solutions are certainly sane and practical by all means, there have been less than savory ideas that have been thrown out of Washington recently. 

Certain Senators such as Sen. Lindsey Graham have proposed new “innovative” solutions to tackle and crush this epidemic. So, I bet you think this new idea is to perhaps increase the DEA budget or make addiction treatment centers more available, no he thinks we should invade Mexico. I am not making embellishments or anything of the sort, but with the current plan proposed by him and some others in support of the plan, they would pass legislation to allow troops to move into Mexico. Sen. Lindsey Graham stated, “to unleash the fury and might of the U.S. against these cartels.” “The second step that we will be engaging in gives the military the authority to go after these organizations wherever they exist,”. Actions such as this are detrimental to our diplomatic relations globally and of course with our ally at our southern doorsteps, Mexico. The proposed plan would have cartels and other drug trafficking organizations labeled as terrorist groups, this would allow for the U.S. military to then operate within Mexican territory with or without the nation’s cooperation. 

First, this plan would rid our countries of any form of goodwill that we may hold for the other, and perhaps permanently break down any form of international or North American cooperation efforts for trade, climate change, and or other crises. Also when looking at the repercussions of this on an international scale, many other countries may see this as an unprovoked and illegal war/conflict overstretching the power and duties of our nation as a democratic nation. 

Backlash and repercussions have been vividly displayed by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a reaction such as, “ We are not going to permit any foreign government to intervene in our territory,  much less that a foreign government’s armed forces intervene,” “Yesterday was the last straw.” Clearly, this rhetoric among these backers has left tension between our two governments with President Obrador even threatening by saying, “ We could go to the U.N.” We must find other solutions, as a whole such a plan of action going forth will leave international repercussions, and lasting struggle diplomatically between our countries.

Other actions that could be taken are somewhat straightforward. Fentanyl and the overdoses that follow usually occur in laced drugs (narcotics such as methamphetamines or cocaine that have too much fentanyl laced) this would mean that if we supported current plans of action to rid our streets of narcotics of all kinds, special resources would not have to be diverted into tracking down this specific drug, as fentanyl is usually lacing other targeted substances.

Senator Graham stated at a press conference, “To the President of Mexico, fentanyl is a weapon of mass destruction being unleashed on America from your country. It’s coming from your country.” Looking at the sentiment that these senators have towards this bill, I must say I am disappointed that we have not moved past and learned from the last time we searched for “weapons of mass destruction” in another sovereign country’s borders.