PortandTerminal.com, December 15, 2019
WASHINGTON – Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has published a summary of their drug seizures for the first two months of their FY’ 2020 and the numbers are terrifying. In this article, we’ll focus on two of the most deadly drugs the CBP have reported seizures of; fentanyl and methamphetamine.
In October and November of 2019, CBP seized 547 lbs of fentanyl. That may not sound like much, especially after you become accustomed to reading about the tons of cocaine that the CBP seized last year. It is a mind-boggling amount though when you consider the number of deaths that just a small quantity of fentanyl can cause.
Fentanyl is terrifyingly potent. It is a synthetic opioid, 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Part of the drug’s popularity with the cartels who manufacture and smuggle it is its profitability and ease of manufacture. The DEA estimates that it costs between just $1,400 to $3,000 a kilo to produce. A kilo of fentanyl on the streets though would retail for over a million dollars they say.
In FY’2019 the CBP seized 2,545 pounds of fentanyl, an increase of 34% versus the previous year. That number tracks with the increase of deaths attributed to fentanyl. In 2018 for example, fentanyl and similar variations of it are blamed for killing 31,000 people, an increase of 11% vs 2017, the worst year for fentanyl deaths recorded.
The recent increases in drug overdose deaths have been so steep that they have contributed to reductions in the country’s life expectancy over the last three years, a pattern unprecedented since World War II.Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The 547 pounds of the fentanyl that the CBP seized in just the first two months of FY’2020 contains enough lethal doses to kill more than 120 million Americans. That’s like killing every man, woman and child in California three times over. And the worrying part is not how much fentanyl the CBP seized, but rather, how much they didn’t catch and is on the streets right now.
In just the first two months of FY’2020, the CBP seized 27,423 pounds of methamphetamine or meth for short.
Last year, FY’2019 CBP seized 68,585 of meth, which was almost 20% more than the previous year. At the rate the CBP is going this year, they’re already well on track to seize over 100,000 pounds of the drug.
The meth problem is something that’s been around a while in America. As far back as 2008, Newsweek magazine called meth “America’s Most Dangerous Drug”.
Although there are various opinions on the subject, it is believed that between 80% and 90% of all those who try methamphetamine once or twice will become addicted to it from that moment. It is also said that the average lifespan of a person who is a fulltime, hardcore meth user is about 5 to 10 years.
So in summary, let’s just say that it’s already been a busy FY’2020 for Customs and Border Patrol. Let’s wish them success moving forward in getting these poisons off of America’s streets.
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