You’ve likely seen the videos by now: People — husks of people, really — slumped over, in a stupor, looking for all the world like zombies. Scenes like those shown in this video from WPIX in New York:
We’ve seen the stories of massive amounts of fentanyl seized at our porous southern border…
Two days, two huge loads, 2.5 million fentanyl pills.
On Friday, CBP officers found approximately 829,000 fentanyl pills in the quarter panels of a car.
On Saturday, officers took down approximately 1,663,040 fentanyl pills hidden throughout a pickup truck. pic.twitter.com/EAjFTxVqxJ
— Port Director Michael W. Humphries (@CBPPortDirNOG) March 21, 2023
…and the alarming uptick in overdose rates.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) held a press conference with Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) in early March to announce his intention to introduce legislation that would designate Mexican drug cartels as “Foreign Terrorist Organizations,” setting the stage for the use of U.S. military force to combat them, noting:
What drives this is fentanyl — it’s been a game-changer. More people died in the United States from fentanyl poisoning than car wrecks and gun violence combined. Fentanyl is becoming the leading cause of death for Americans ages 18-45. 200 Americans die every day due to fentanyl overdoses. Fentanly overdoses cause the equivalent of a new September 11th every two weeks.
I think John and I believe that if there were an ISIS or Al Qaeda cell in Mexico that lobbed a rocket into Texas, we’d wipe them off the planet. They’re doing that times thousands, and our response is inadequate. 106,000 people died last year of drug overdoses, 70,000 related to fentanyl, with no end in sight. We’ve recovered over 12,000 pounds of fentanyl at the border this year — enough to kill almost three billion people. Last year it was 14,700 pounds. This year, it’s almost 13,000 pounds and we’ve got eight months to go.
This problem is a national security threat. Fentanyl is a killer. And the people killing Americans reside out in the open in Mexico. Now, I don’t know if it’s a lack of will on behalf of the Mexican government to bring these cartels to bay, or lack of capability. Either way, it’s the same result for the United States — chaos, heartache, terrorism, murder — and it needs to come to an end.
But it isn’t just opioids like fentanyl anymore, that’s causing concern. As Bob Hoge wrote in January, xylazine, a horse tranquilizer, is now in the mix and its effects are horrifying.
While record overdose rates and the fentanyl crisis have gripped the country, a new Philly Special has taken over the neighborhood of Kensington, PA. It’s a horse tranquilizer called xylazine, it’s now showing up in over 90 percent of the ubiquitous heroin supply in the area, and it’s creating nightmarish scenes captured by Daily Mail. Let me give you a warning, they’re disturbing:
And now, the DEA is sounding the alarm, issuing a dire warning over xylazine — or “Tranq” — which has been seized in 48 states.
In a new public safety alert, the DEA said it was warning the American public of a sharp increase in the trafficking of fentanyl mixed with xylazine. Xylazine, also known as “Tranq,” is a powerful sedative that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved for veterinary use.
“Xylazine is making the deadliest drug threat our country has ever faced, fentanyl, even deadlier,” DEA administrator Anne Milgram said. “DEA has seized xylazine and fentanyl mixtures in 48 of 50 States. The DEA Laboratory System is reporting that in 2022 approximately 23% of fentanyl powder and 7% of fentanyl pills seized by the DEA contained xylazine.”
Mixed with fentanyl, it can be deadly, but what makes xylazine particularly pernicious is that it’s not an opioid and thus, not responsive to Narcan. Additionally, per the DEA alert, “People who inject drug mixtures containing xylazine also can develop severe wounds, including necrosis—the rotting of human tissue—that may lead to amputation.”
Given all that, it’s difficult to comprehend what would ever possess someone to inject it willingly — or even risk it. But we’re not dealing with rational actors here. These are devastated, broken people in need of the healing of a higher power.
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