Our Government Needs to Focus On Fentanyl Overdoses

Memorial for student overdose

One day before 14-year-old Alexander Neville entered a substance abuse treatment facility he took one last oxycontin pill he purchased on Snapchat. Unfortunately, the pill was pure Fentanyl and he overdosed. With 858,00 deaths so far this year, our government needs to focus on Fentanyl overdoses.

This story should set alarm bells for all parents of teens across the country. I’m not sure which is scarier the fact that teens can purchase illicit drugs on social media or that the drugs they buy are marketed as being something other than Fentanyl.

Drug dealers target teens on social media, pretending to be just another teen. They develop close relationships with them over time so they can manipulate them in all kinds of ways. This includes convincing them to send nude photos, potentially meeting and physically abusing them as well as sell them drugs that can kill them.

Fentanyl is made in labs in Mexico and China and comes in through border towns in the US. Fentanyl is now the number one drug the Cartels are smuggling into our country and it is deadly (see Fentanyl Overdoses Are Killing Our Children here).

Drug Use Remains Stable – But Overdoses Are Skyrocketing

According to the Los Angeles Times article (pictured above), “drug use among teens ages 14 to 18 remained relatively stable between 2010 and 2020, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” But, The Times also reports the number of overdoses is skyrocketing. Teen fentanyl-related deaths more than doubled, from 253 in 2019 to 680 in 2020 to 884 deaths in 2021.

 

In 2020, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Gang and Narcotics Division seized about 117,000 fentanyl pills, Det. Art Stone said. That number ballooned to 858,000 pills in 2021. So far this year, nearly 3 million fentanyl pills have been seized, Stone said.

Overdoses and abuse of prescription drugs have decreased percipitously since the government cracked down on opioid pain relievers in 2016. However, overdoses have risen dramatically because teens are known to experiment with drugs, but have no clue what is in them. Pills like Adderall and Ritalin are known to be helpful for increased concentration which is ideal around exam time. But often these teens receive a pill made with Fentanyl instead. Some kids are searching for something to ease their anxiety and buy what they think is Xanax which turns out to be Fentanyl.

Our Government Needs to Focus on Fentanyl Overdoses

We need our government to focus on Fentanyl overdoses and towards that goal I am proposing a national task force solely focused on this crisis. The task force needs to stop/slow down the Cartels from smuggling it into our country and provide better education to teens about the drug and how it gets marketed.

To make this change I urge you to write or call your Congressman and/or Senator and plead for these ideas to be put into effect. Below is a sample letter you can download and use if you so desire.

 

To make it easy to reach out, you can find out who your congressman is by clicking here and then click on the contact button at the top of the page. For your convenience, I’ve also provided all the house reps by district for all of New Jersey, and most of New York State (since these are the areas where most of my readers reside):

New Jersey

New York

Together we can fight to slow down/end this massacre of our children. Without your help, we will watch at least another 858,000 teens die in 2023. Please make your voices heard.

Update on Advocating For More Government Involvement:

Since I wrote this piece two days ago, I called my congressman’s office about the need to do more about the skyrocketing deaths of teens from Fentanyl. They got right back to me and I will be meeting with them shortly. I just found out a new statistic that you can inform your teen about. Fentanyl is now in 97% of the drug supply in the US. They use it in a pill format (i.e. Ritalin, oxycontin etc.) and in powder formats (i.e. cocaine and heroin). Remember it’s 10 times stronger than Morphine and just taking 1 pill or 1 snort is enough to overdose. Together we can fight to slow down/end this massacre of our children. Without your help, we will watch at least another 858,000 teens die in 2023. Please make your voices heard. Call Your Congressman Now!

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Published by Amy Sandelman Harris

Welcome to our community for "Women of a Certain Age." We are definitely not sitting on the sidelines growing older gracefully. We are the biggest demographic in the country, and with that comes the power to affect change through philanthropy, advocacy and activism. My blog is meant to inspire women to get involved.

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