California is home to drug use, but nothing is as pervasive in America now as fentanyl. Last year, according to the California Department of Public Health, preliminary reports found 6,843 opioid-related overdose deaths in California. Of those deaths, 5,722 involved fentanyl. At least 224 of the deaths were teenagers aged 15 to 19. Many did not know there was fentanyl in the drugs they were taking. As a result, the Department of Justice announced that they would use a threefold approach to ensnare drug dealers responsible for poisoning people in California with fentanyl.
Why Is There So Much Fentanyl in California?
Street drugs and counterfeit drugs sold on the internet have become commonplace. Sometimes, they are laced with deadly amounts of fentanyl. Because the user believes they are taking something else, such as cocaine, it surprises them. Many of the people who die from overdoses involving fentanyl have never used the drug before, which makes them likely to overdose and die. There is also a lot of drug experimentation in California among youth culture and the club scenes.
“Violent drug cartels, specifically the Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco New Generation Cartel, are deliberately pushing deadly fentanyl into our communities with complete disregard for human lives to maximize their profits,” said DEA Los Angeles Special Agent in Charge Bill Bodner. “Drug poisonings and drug-caused deaths are affecting families across the nation and killing Americans, teens, and adults, at historic rates. We are targeting any individual responsible in the drug supply chain – from high-level drug traffickers to street level dealers – who deceptively sell this poison and create further addiction.”
Fighting Fentanyl in California
These officials also outlined significant public outreach and education efforts, such as the “One Pill Can Kill” campaign.
Federal authorities held a news conference in Los Angeles to discuss their new efforts to fight fentanyl trafficking in California. One of the most common sources of fentanyl is counterfeit pills. They’re sold online as drugs such as Molly, Adderall, or Oxycontin. However, they are often drugs tainted with fentanyl or even fentanyl only. These pills are mass-produced and often trafficked over the Mexican border. Then their final destination is drug dealers who run delivery services through apps online. Law enforcement wants to route out all of these distribution networks.
The Justice Department works with local law enforcement to eliminate criminal gangs and cartels that mass-produce and import drugs. Wholesalers and in-between traffickers are also on the list. At the same time, in Southern California, operations are in place targeting street-level dealers who sell products directly to people on the streets.
Education is also a focus of law enforcement in California, as well as increased access to Narcan, a lifesaving opioid overdose drug. However, stemming the flow of drugs and making them less available to people online and on the street is a vital public health concern. Over 80% of overdoses in California in 2021 involved fentanyl.
Sober Living In California
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