(USNewsBreak.com) – Fentanyl continues to be a huge problem for the United States. Tens of thousands of people die from overdosing on the drug, which is significantly more potent than morphine and heroin; just a small amount can kill someone. Much of the fentanyl that comes into the US comes over the Southern Border from Mexico, which is notorious for its drug cartels. The country recently made one of its biggest busts to date.
On February 15, Mexico’s government issued a press release detailing a recent raid its military conducted at a suspected drug lab in Culiacán, the capital of the country’s northwestern state of Sinaloa. During the mission, troops reportedly seized nearly 630,000 pills purportedly containing fentanyl, 282 pounds of suspected fentanyl powder, and 220 pounds of methamphetamine.
The military also seized large quantities of tartaric acid and caustic soda, which are used for manufacturing drugs, and mannitol, a type of sugar frequently used to cut (or dilute) opioids. The statement noted that the “laboratory has a massive synthetic drug production capacity.”
— New York Post (@nypost) February 16, 2023
The timing of the seizure is uncanny. On the same day as the bust, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing centering around the dangers of fentanyl, which is currently responsible for approximately 70,000 deaths in the United States annually, as reported by The New York Post.
While the drug is often trafficked from the South, many of the precursor chemicals that create the drugs come from China, according to the US Drug and Enforcement Agency (DEA) Administrator Anne Milgram, who spoke with CBS News last year. She said there was a relationship” between cartels and China’s chemical companies. The Washington Post reported in December that the Mexican Navy had seized approximately 600 tons, or 120,000 pounds, of the chemicals since 2007.
The problem isn’t just the fentanyl itself. Criminal gangs frequently form the substance to resemble prescription pills. Then, people unknowingly consume them, thinking they are something else — an error that frequently leads to fatal outcomes since it doesn’t take much to kill someone. A small amount that fits on a pencil tip is typically all it takes.
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