In the past couple of years, there has been a drastic increase in cross-border smuggling of fentanyl, according to recent report by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Compared to 2 pounds of the drug seized in 2013, approximately 1,485 pounds of fentanyl was seized between Oct. 1, 2016 and Sep. 30, 2017. Overall, the CBP reported seizure of more than 2.14 million pounds of narcotics. It also disrupted trade of 81,000 pounds of narcotics in the same period.
Apart from fentanyl, the CBC report also mentioned that it had seized sizeable amounts of marijuana and cocaine. Some of the big seizures include:
Interestingly, the report mentioned that while cross-border smuggling is still predominant, especially along the Southwest border, smugglers are also resorting to alternative channels, such as internet and express consignment carrier (ECC). The modus operandi is quite simple. A customer mentions his choice of drug online to an unknown dealer based in China or Mexico. Later, these are mailed or sent through ECC right at the user’s doorstep without the law enforcement getting a whiff. Apart from fentanyl, designer drugs like synthetic cannabinoids, and synthetic cathinones or bath salts, are also being sold to Americans. Unfortunately, when trade is carried out this way, it is more difficult for law enforcement agencies to locate drugs as all courier or mail packets look alike.
Fentanyl is preferred over other opioids
Fentanyl is one of the most powerful prescription opioids for treating chronic pain. Its properties are similar to that of morphine, another potent opioid used for controlling pain, especially among post-operative patients. Though marketed predominantly for medical purposes, this drug is widely used for recreational purpose, which can lead to fatal consequences. Pop icon Prince died of a fentanyl overdose in 2016. Law enforcement agencies have realized that drug users are resorting to fentanyl, as it is both cheaper and a more potent alternative to opioids. Many dealers do not shy away from mixing the drug with heroin, making it a lethal combination. This step is also playing a major role in worsening the opioid epidemic.
Apart from the powdered form, fentanyl is also sold in the form of a patch. Consuming the drug in high doses can affect a person’s breathing. If the antidote is not provided in time, it could lead to coma or death. Considering its potency, first responders investigating an opioid overdose condition carry with them a naloxone nasal spray. It is a powerful antidote that counters the effects of an overdose. Those using fentanyl for genuine reasons should exercise caution and report to a doctor for any side effects.
Treatment for prescription drug addiction
Those who become addicted to drugs like fentanyl and its analogues could find it impossible to live without it even for a day. They may find it hard to quit and long-term use can make them prone to a host of mental and physical health problems. Therefore, it is essential to seek help at the earliest. Sovereign Health, a pioneer in addiction and mental health treatment in the U.S., uses an integrated approach to not only wean off the effects of the drug from a patient’s body but also help him/her lead a life of sobriety.
If you are looking for the best program for prescription drug addiction in Texas, look no further. In addition to traditional treatment modalities, we offer alternative therapeutic activities, family and group therapies, and mindfulness techniques in a tranquil setting, ideal for reflection and realization. If you or a loved one is in need of help, call our 24/7 helpline number or chat online with an expert for more information about our treatment for prescription drug abuse in Texas.
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