February 6, 2023

How Bad Is the Fentanyl Crisis?

Bad enough that school children are going to start carrying the antidote in their backpacks.

Death by fentanyl overdose has become a leading cause of death in the 18-45 demographic. The drug crisis has been growing in mortality since 2019. Now it has been reported that students in the Los Angeles Unified School Districts are going to be permitted to carry Narcan nasal spray at school, just in case of exposure to the poisonous drug.

Narcan is the product name for the drug Naloxone — a medicine that can quickly block the effects of opioids. This drug is effective if used in time and will do no harm if used when not overdosing.

Fentanyl is a particularly potent synthetic opioid. Drug dealers use it to lace other drugs to give them more of a “kick.” Because of the street nature of fentanyl, the amount isn’t always the same from batch to batch, but even two milligrams of it can kill someone. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), of the drugs it has seized, “42% of pills tested for fentanyl contained at least 2 mg of fentanyl, considered a potentially lethal dose.”

Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho of the LA School District is right to be worried. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Deaths tied to illicit fentanyl have skyrocketed, with more than 13 times as many people losing their lives in 2021 as in 2016.” That number is a 1,280% jump.

In LA schools, the policy has been to have Narcan in a secure location on school campuses. However, Carvalho proposed an update to the policy in order to make sure that students receive the life-saving medication in time by having it in their possession.

It’s not just the person using a tainted pill who is harmed by fentanyl. The drug is so potent that if an innocent individual is exposed to the drug — either through the rubbing of eyes, nose, mouth, or through an open cut — they could die of an overdose as well.

This risk of exposure is the reason why Naxolone spray is now part of a policeman’s belt. As our Mark Alexander recently wrote, “So prevalent is this deadly drug that the antidote Naloxone now carried by first responders nationwide is increasingly required to save first responders because of fentanyl cross-contamination when responding to overdose calls or making drug arrests.”

It is infuriating that this drug crisis has been allowed to reach such a point. It seems that not a day goes by when there isn’t another fentanyl death reported. Much of the blame can be placed at the feet of the current administration, whose apathetic approach to border security has allowed the drug cartels south of the border to smuggle in enough of this opioid poison to kill every person in the U.S. And that is just what the DEA has seized.

The fact that the danger is now so high for children that the antidote needs to be easily accessible in their backpacks should be a rallying cry for those still resistant to closing down the steady stream of illegals bringing drugs into our country.

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