Fatal Overdoses at All-Time High as Fentanyl Crosses the Mexican Border

vial of fentanyl powder

When most people think of illicit drugs, substances like cocaine or heroin usually come to mind. Mexican drug traffickers used to make a fortune importing these drugs, which are derived from the coca plant and the poppy flower, respectively, along with other synthetic chemicals. Today, the demand for heroin and cocaine is lower. Now more than ever, synthetic opioids made from extremely potent chemicals are in high demand from Mexican drug manufacturers and traffickers, and fentanyl is the king among them.

Fentanyl is an incredibly potent and dangerous drug. First approved in the 1960s as a post-surgery pain reliever and as a last-resort narcotic for the terminally ill, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin. In fact, ingesting just a few grains can be deadly. Fentanyl is driving the opioid epidemic and caused more than 31,000 fatal overdoses in the United States in 2018. No other drug in modern history has caused so many overdose deaths in a single year.

The drug has had a profound effect in Mexico, as well.

How Fentanyl Has Impacted the Mexican Drug Economy

The majority of fentanyl comes into the United States smuggled in the south of the border, where the Mexican drug economy has shifted from smuggling marijuana, then to heroin and methamphetamine, and now to fentanyl. It is relatively easy and cheap to make it, not to mention it is up to 20 times more profitable than heroin. This makes it an irresistible way to make quick, easy money, especially for impoverished Mexican drug traffickers who have little means to make ends meet other than by cooking fentanyl and sending it across the border. Trafficking marijuana has little to no value anymore for Mexican drug traffickers, as it has been legalized in many U.S. states and it is easily accessible for most people who want to find it.

Those who are willing to make fentanyl stand to earn an enormous profit, as estimates from experts from the U.S. law enforcement agency known as the Fentanyl Working Group estimate it costs $32,000 to produce one kilogram of fentanyl, which can then be used to manufacture one million pills with a street value of $20 million. U.S. drug dealers demand fentanyl shipments, as they, too, can make an enormous profit from this high-demand opioid.  

As the Mexican government has cracked down on drug trafficking by either capturing or killing drug cartel capos, leaner operations have replaced these vertically structured criminal groups. These individuals who cook fentanyl are harder to find and apprehend, partly because setting up a place to cook fentanyl is relatively simple compared to tending to large swaths of poppy fields (the poppy flower’s seeping gum is a key ingredient in heroin). 

Seek Help for Fentanyl Addiction Today

The multifaceted problem of the opioid crisis and rampant fentanyl abuse has confounded those who are trying to ebb the tide of fatal overdoses. Public health experts have denounced fentanyl, but until things change, it will remain the king of synthetic drugs and continue to claim the lives of those who are curious to try it even “just one time.” Don’t let it claim your health and happiness. Contact our drug rehab facility today to learn more about how we can help you overcome fentanyl addiction.

If you are suffering from fentanyl addiction, the time to seek help is now. Contact Decision Point Center today at (844) 292-5010 or reach out to us online.