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HomeSpecialFentanyl: the powerful drug that continues to kill young people in the US

Fentanyl: the powerful drug that continues to kill young people in the US

The United States has been characterized as the country with the higher rate of illicit drug use, going from marijuana (now legalized even in the NBA), cocaine, crack, heroin, to synthetic drugs such as ecstasy, valium and now fentanyl.

Since the end of the XNUMXth century, American society has been characterized by high levels of illicit drug use. The first thing was morphine, but with the arrival of the XNUMXth century, consumers, who grew year after year, began to use cocaine and later heroin.

By the middle of the 60th century, the growing mass of addicts began to use synthetic drugs, a problem that increased in the 70s and XNUMXs in the group of young people who had been part of the United States troops in Vietnam.

Valium, LSD, Ecstasy, among other synthetic drugs endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States (FDA for its acronym in English), spread among addicts in North American territory, becoming the first cause of deaths among young people during many years, a situation that is still maintained and that has increased with the arrival of fentanyl.

What is fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid (which is FDA approved) that may be prescribed to treat severe pain related to surgery or complex pain conditions.

With the potential to be 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, is currently the major cause of deaths from overdose in young people, registering an increase of almost 100% in deaths as a result of the use of this drug between 2019 and 2021, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to CDC estimates, 200 daily deaths from overdose with this powerful opioid are recorded in the United States and by 2021 the death toll was above 71 people.

In addition, data of the Families Against Fentanyl (FAF for its acronym in English), which were endorsed by the CDC, reveal that deaths in children under 14 years of age due to overdose quadrupled as a result of the consumption of this opioid.

The authorities of the North American country have decided to point to the illegal manufacturers who frequently add this opioid to other drugs to make them more powerful and addictive as the main cause of this epidemic of fentanyl use.

Illicitly manufactured fentanyl is available on the drug market in different forms, including liquid and powder.

failed war

Since the 60s and 70s, the year in which it is considered the beginning of the consumption of synthetic drugs by the population in the United States, a so-called "war on drugs" began, considering that the increase in addicts who recorded annually, as well as the number of overdose deaths, were a national security problem.

The Controlled Substances Act, promoted by the US Congress in the Richard Nixon era, was the starting point for this plan to combat the trafficking of illicit substances that alone has left hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced in Latin America ( region used by the cartels for the planting and processing of drugs), and contrary to what was expected, from those 70s to date, in which more than 50.000 million dollars have been invested, consumption has only increased.

Added to this is the fact that close to 22% of the country's prison population is behind bars for crimes related to the possession and use of narcotics, the majority being Afro-Americans and Latinos.

According to figures provided by the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics (Ncdas), the United States had no less than 32 million active drug users (11,7% of the population); ranging from marijuana to opioids, revealing the ineffectiveness of his plan to combat drug trafficking.

Made in USA problem

Despite the resounding failure of the model to combat the drug problem implemented from Nixon to the present, conservative sectors insist on locating the internal problem of the United States with drugs in external agents.

Colombia and Mexico have been the main lines of action of the extraterritorial policies of the US authorities, which, after creating the Drug Administration and Control unit (DEA) in 1973, extended its arms to the region where it carries out anti-drug operations. -some without the endorsement of the governments in the territories where they operate- and negotiate with cartels behind the backs of the authorities of the country where they operate.

After the fentanyl crisis, conservative sectors of North American politics, such as Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, have decided to target Mexico, even going so far as to propose invading the Aztec nation with US military forces.

“Lately, in a fallacious and irresponsible way, some United States legislators have blamed Mexico for the misfortune they suffer in their country due to the use of fentanyl. They have even gone so far as to say that if we do not stop the drug gangs that operate in Mexico and that introduce this drug, they could present an initiative to their Congress so that the United States armed forces invade our territory. Such approaches are in themselves a lack of respect and an unacceptable threat to our sovereignty," AMLO read in the letter.

Another of the countries mentioned is China, a nation that the US is accused of being the manufacturer of the opioid that is sent to Mexican cartels so that they can introduce it into US territory from there.

Given this, the spokeswoman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mao Ning, denied such an accusation and, after rejecting the threats against Mexico that she maintained show "the hegemonic and harassing practices" of the United States, stressed that the problem of fentanyl abuse is XNUMX% American made.

“The origin of the cause of the overdoses is in the United States. The issue is totally 'made in America'. They must face their own problems and take more significant steps to strengthen national regulations and reduce demand,” he urged.

No solution to consumption

Given the evident inability to stop the growing consumption, among the solutions proposed within the United States to avoid the deaths due to overdose that are increasing due to fentanyl, the FDA approved the unrestricted commercialization of Narcan, a drug used to combat the effects opioid overdose.

The drug is a nasal spray, also known as naloxone. It can be purchased with an insurance copayment or assuming the entire cost. The price for two doses of Narcan is approximately $50.

According to publication of the VOA, doctors warn that Narcan is used for specific overdoses and clarify that it is not effective for those who suffer these effects on a regular basis since it could cause what is known as withdrawal syndrome.

“This syndrome can cause severe effects, such as seizures or it can also lead to cardiac arrest,” explains Dr. Carlos Riveros, a general practitioner residing in Miami.

Added to the fentanyl problem is the recent detection of xylazine consumption; a potent sedative, muscle relaxant and analgesic for animals.

According to DEA reports, “mixtures have been found in 48 of the 50 states of the country. And almost 30% of the fentanyl seized over the past year contained this substance” which they say has a higher lethal potential than the opioid.

With a history of 50 years of failure in the armed struggle against a scourge that continues to increase in a society founded on consumerism, to which is added the economic crisis that this country is facing with 50 million poor people and historical inflation, in addition to the absence of effective policies to prevent consumption by young people, allow us to see that this trend towards drug use will not diminish because it has become the main escape route for a population submerged in a crisis of values ​​where racism, supremacism, violence and inequality are imposed as the reality of the so-called “American dream”.

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