Last year, overdose deaths reached record levels amid the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown orders. Over 2020, many Americans were forced to stay at home. Those who were unable to work were placed in a precarious situation — despite government attempts to alleviate the financial burden they suffered.
In 2020, over 92,000 Americans died from overdoses, which was a national record. The pandemic made things harder for those already addicted to drugs, and the proliferation of fentanyl and other opioids has made the situation even worse. Indeed, 60 percent of these deaths were attributed to fentanyl use.
Unfortunately, 2021 has not gotten any better; in fact, it has already eclipsed last year’s totals, with about a month and a half left in the year. The Associated Press reported:
An estimated 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in one year, a never-before-seen milestone that health officials say is tied to the COVID-19 pandemic and a more dangerous drug supply.
Overdose deaths have been rising for more than two decades, accelerated in the past two years and, according to new data posted Wednesday, jumped nearly 30% in the latest year.
National Drug Control Policy Director Dr. Rahul Gupta said, “this is unacceptable and it requires an unprecedented response.”
The report continued:
Experts believe the top drivers of overdose deaths are the growing prevalence of deadly fentanyl in the illicit drug supply and the COVID-19 pandemic, which left many drug users socially isolated and unable to get treatment or other support.
As with 2020, most of these deaths involve illegally-obtained fentanyl, which became the most common type of overdose death, after it surpassed heroin in 2016. “Dealers have mixed fentanyl with other drugs – one reason that deaths from methamphetamines and cocaine also are rising,” according to the AP.
The report also noted that this situation has been exacerbated by the reality that Mexican drug cartels “are using chemicals from China to mass produce and distribute fentanyl and meth across America,” according to Anne Milgram, administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). She also noted that the DEA has seized 12,000 pounds of fentanyl.
The New York Times noted that these numbers mark “the first time the number of overdose deaths in the United States has exceeded 100,000 a year, more than the toll of car crashes and guns combined,” and that “overdose deaths have more than doubled since 2015.”
New York Magazine pointed out that this year, fentanyl “accounted for 64 percent of all overdose deaths.”
NBC News noted:
Vermont saw the biggest rise, with a nearly 70 percent increase. Large increases were also observed in West Virginia (62 percent), Kentucky (55 percent), Louisiana (52 percent) and Tennessee (50 percent). Drug overdose deaths went down in just four states: Delaware, New Hampshire, New Jersey and South Dakota. South Dakota had a nearly 20 percent decrease in overdose deaths, the greatest by far.
There have been several reports on the tragic increase in overdose deaths – these are only a few of those that have been published. But while they acknowledge that fentanyl is the primary contributor to the rate of overdoses, they all leave out a critical detail: The impact of President Joe Biden’s migrant crisis.
The AP came closest to acknowledging the prevalence of illicit fentanyl use, but it failed to mention how and why so much of this drug has made it into the country over the past year. The reality is that Mexican drug cartels have taken advantage of Biden’s border crisis in numerous ways.
The situation has made human smuggling far more lucrative than it has in past years. With a record number of migrants attempting to enter the country illegally, the cartels have profited significantly off of the crisis.
The cartels have increased their efforts to smuggle lethal drugs into the United States as well. In fiscal year 2020, which ended in September of that year, federal authorities seized 4,791 pounds of fentanyl at the border.
In fiscal year 2021, which ended this September, authorities seized 11,201 pounds of fentanyl, more than double the amount of the previous year, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). If this is the amount of fentanyl that the authorities are catching, it raises a serious question: How much more is making it into the country?
The cartels have been empowered by the Biden administration’s lax approach to immigration and its implicit invitation to migrants seeking to make it into the United States. They have become so emboldened that they have begun carrying out brutal murders on American soil.
This is one of the issues that has flown under the radar when it comes to reporting about the situation at the border. The influx of migrants is not just taxing CBP and our immigration system. It isn’t just placing an undue burden on border towns. It is literally getting Americans killed.
Most of those who die from fentanyl have no idea they are consuming it, because it tends to be mixed with illicit drugs like meth, heroin, and others. This is the result of the open borders approach that Biden and Democratic lawmakers favor and will only continue until they are removed from office. But how many more Americans will have to die between now and then?