A San Francisco area news station, NBC Bay Area conducted a survey of Bay Area counties and found at least 130 fentanyl-related deaths since 2015. NBC Bay Area spoke to John Martin, special agent in charge for the drug agency’s San Francisco division. Special Agent Martin told them “What we’ve seen here in Northern California is the rise of the independent trafficker.” He also informed them that fentanyl, which replicates the effects of typical opioids, is 50 times more powerful than heroin, and just 2 milligrams of fentanyl can kill an adult.
NBC Bay Area spoke with a local family who lost their son to a fentanyl overdose. They maintain their 21-year-old was not an addict, and only liked to have fun. His roommate found Sean Patania unresponsive in his apartment. He never regained consciousness.
NBC Bay Area also noted that last year, DEA agents seized 668 kilograms of fentanyl on its way into the United States. This is enough fentanyl to kill every man, woman, and child in the country.
CNN reports that independent trafficking of fentanyl has been made much easier as pill presses are being imported cheaply into the United States in record numbers. In the last year, 80 pill presses have been seized at the Port of Long Beach. CNN also spoke to Special Agent John Martin. He explained that, “A kilogram of fentanyl wholesale is about $3,500 to $5,000. The pill press, let’s say you buy it for about $1,000 and the die for $100, that’s not a huge investment. You get the binding material … on the dark net, and you can start making these pills. So there’s huge profit to be made on these counterfeit pills.”
The Bay Area’s fentanyl problem is just a snapshot of the dreadful impact fentanyl is having on unsuspecting Americans:
- In Ohio, the Montgomery County Coroner’s office is running out of storage room due to fentanyl-driven overdoses. Additionally, an Ohio policeman was nearly killed by a fentanyl overdose while conducting a traffic stop.
- In Tennessee, the Tennessee Health Department has issued a public health advisory on fentanyl, warning of “the substantial risk posed by counterfeit prescription or other illegal drugs that may contain fentanyl or similar powerful compounds.”
- In Arizona, authorities are attributing 32 deaths in the Phoenix area over the last 18 months to counterfeit oxycontin laced with fentanyl.
To find out how fentanyl is impacting your community, please visit Counterfeit Pills Laced With Fentanyl Are Ravaging Communities Across North America.