In Brief: Our Children Are Being Poisoned
Fentanyl is the real public health crisis, and the open southern border is largely to blame.
More than 100,000 Americans a year are now dying of drug overdoses. Lora Ries, director of the Border Security and Immigration Center, says that tragic problem is a big consequence of bad border policy.
There is a real public health crisis among America’s young people, and it isn’t COVID-19. Every day, more than 300 of our children and loved ones are poisoned with fentanyl—an extremely lethal drug often disguised as other medication and hidden in party drugs popular among our youth. Yet most leaders in this country refuse to talk about it, let alone work to stop it.
When COVID-19 hit, multiple agencies at the federal, state and local levels conducted massive public service campaigns. Posters, radio, TV and social media ads instructed us to wash our hands, cover our cough, keep our distance, wear a mask, and get vaccinated. The campaign continues today, despite the weakening of the virus. According to the CDC, 1,494 Americans aged 0-18 years have died of COVID-19.
That number pales in comparison to fentanyl poisonings.
The American public needs to understand these fentanyl deaths aren’t classic overdoses among addicts. These aren’t broken kids with “substance use disorder.” The overwhelming majority aren’t actively seeking fentanyl at all. Rather, in an age where medication is advertised wall-to-wall on our TVs, radio and social media, kids (like adults) think they can take a pill to fix anything, including stress and anxiety — conditions rampant among young people.
In a time where drug use among our youth is as much a rite of passage as alcohol use, illicit fentanyl hit the stage, and it’s killing them.
“This drug crisis is unlike any we’ve ever experienced,” Ries argues, which is why the inaction of our leaders is a huge problem.
One obvious issue is that politicians would have to admit how our open southern border has fueled this fatal epidemic. Most illicit fentanyl today is manufactured in Mexico and brought across our southern border. In 2021 alone, the Drug Enforcement Administration seized more than 21 million fake prescription pills containing illicit fentanyl. Of those tested, 40% contained lethal amounts of the drug. This year, the agency has seized 50.6 million counterfeit pills and more than 10,000 pounds of powdered fentanyl — “enough to kill every American,” as the DEA put it.
Despite deadly drugs being discovered in America’s school, and despite the fact that “opioids, largely fentanyl, are now the No. 1 killer of Americans aged 18-45 years old,” the Biden administration stubbornly insists on open borders. Ries concludes:
The fentanyl crisis has tremendous suffering even beyond the fatalities. It has left untold numbers of parents broken and grieving and hundreds of thousands of children traumatized by the loss of one or both parents.
How many more American kids must die before this administration will change course?
- Lora Ries
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