Letter: The Poisoning Of America By Fentanyl

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In this photo taken on Feb 11, 2013, freshly dumped hypodermic syringes and a needle litter an abandoned cemetery in Myitkyina, the provincial capital of Kachin state, Myanmar. Myitkyina is known for having one of the highest concentrations of drug addicts in the world. The Kachin Baptist Convention, an evangelical group with over 300 churches in the state, says nearly 80 percent of ethnic Kachin youth are addicts. Their drug of choice is heroin. In the shadow of war, even drug abuse becomes politicized. Gryung Heang, the pastor of the camp church, says the government is willfully turning a blind eye to drug abuse among the Kachin because it wants to decimate young potential fighters. Officials say such views are absurd. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Overdose deaths from Fentanyl poisoning have created a lot of pain and suffering for Mainers, their families, and our entire nation.

So why hasn’t our government done anything about the trafficking of Fentanyl into our country?

The U.S. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) reported that Fentanyl is now the #1 cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 45. And that overdose deaths in the United States exceeded 100,000 in a 12 month-period for the first time.

The leadership in Washington, D.C., knows Fentanyl is manufactured in China and that the Mexican cartels are making billions and billions of dollars, trafficking thousands of pounds of Fentanyl into every city and town in America daily. There are national estimates that about 300 Americans die each day from Fentanyl poisoning. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 more powerful than heroin.

Why hasn’t our government done anything?

Overdose deaths from Fentanyl poisoning in Maine are increasing at an alarming rate. According to monthly reports released by the Maine Office of the Attorney General and the Office of Behavioral Health, Maine set a record for overdose deaths last year, with over 630 people dying, nearly two deaths a day. And, so far this year, the number of drug overdose deaths in Maine increased during the first eight months of 2022 over the same period in 2021.

Has our country lost its way? How awful do the fatal overdose reports need to get before the United States is willing to close the border with Mexico and impose strict tariffs on China to stop the flow of Fentanyl into America? And concerning China, as indifferent as the Chinese government is toward human rights violations, the Chinese government does not tolerate drug addiction. On the contrary, strict laws in China ensure that anyone who sells or uses illicit drugs is swiftly dispatched.

Why hasn’t our country done anything?

Gary Chapin has worked in the human services field for several decades in child protection and addiction recovery.

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