Fentanyl: A Growing Problem for the U.S. and Mexico
Fentanyl is causing headaches for governments on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Fentanyl has become the most trafficked drug by criminal organizations in Mexico and is considered one of the main threats to public safety in the United States.
This opiate, which is 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin, has become very popular among users due to its analgesic effect and its ability to generate a sense of well-being.
However, its recreational use can be lethal, as its side effects can include death from hypoxia, a dangerous decrease in the level of oxygen in the body.
In this sense, it is important to understand what fentanyl is, how it is produced and how it affects both Mexico and the United States. In addition, it is essential to know what measures are being taken by both countries to curb the trafficking and consumption of this dangerous drug.
What is fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate commonly used as a painkiller. It is produced in pharmaceutical laboratories and is legally prescribed to treat chronic pain, post-operative pain, and pain associated with terminal illnesses such as cancer. Fentanyl is much more potent than other opioids such as morphine, oxycodone and heroin, and is administered in much lower doses.
Fentanyl is produced in different parts of the world, including China, and is commonly smuggled into the United States and Mexico. In these countries, it is sold on the black market and mixed with other drugs to increase its potency and effectiveness.
Fentanyl in Mexico and the United States
According to authorities, fentanyl is primarily produced in China, but Mexico has become a major manufacturing center for the drug for sale and distribution in the United States. The Sinaloa Cartel, one of the country's most powerful criminal organizations, is one of the main producers of fentanyl for illegal recreational use.
In the United States, fentanyl has caused an epidemic of overdoses and deaths. According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 200 people die every day due to the effects of fentanyl. That is why the U.S. government considers fentanyl trafficking to be a serious threat to public health.
On the other hand, in Mexico, although fentanyl consumption is increasing, the number of people addicted and the number of deaths related to this drug are much lower than in the United States. According to the Ministry of Health, 19 people died due to fentanyl use in 2021.
A problem that affects both nations
Undoubtedly, fentanyl trafficking has generated a conflict between Mexico and the United States. The U.S. government has complained about the production and trafficking of the drug that takes place from Mexico.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned about the high potency and danger of fentanyl, which has caused an epidemic of addiction and deaths in that country.
Mexico, for its part, has pointed out that the production of this drug takes place in China, and that only fentanyl pills are manufactured in Mexican territory. However, the country has recognized that trafficking of this drug across the northern border is a problem, and has taken measures to combat it.
The U.S. government has implemented a series of actions to reduce the trafficking of fentanyl from Mexico, among them, targeting several members of the Sinaloa Cartel, which is responsible for trafficking much of the drug into the United States. In addition, it has requested the collaboration of the Mexican government in the fight against drug trafficking.
This situation has generated tensions between the two countries, and has highlighted the importance of working together to combat drug trafficking and its consequences on public health. Cooperation and coordination between the governments of Mexico and the United States is essential to confront this problem, which affects both nations.