The driving force behind this is synthetic opioid painkillers called fentanyls that are wholly synthetic, and easily can be made in a lab. It is commonly manufactured in southeast Asia, is easy to smuggle, and massively profitable. A kilogram of fentanyl costs $4,000 in China but can make $1.6 million in profit on American streets.
Houston, Texas: A sergeant with the Harris County Sheriff Department was treated for exposure to fentanyl from a flyer on her car’s windshield. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid medication that is similar to morphine, but it’s about 50 to 100 times more potent, and can be lethal even in small doses, and can be absorbed through the skin.
The state of Massachusetts sued the maker of the prescription painkiller OxyContin, which has been blamed for spawning America’s opioid crisis, naming leading executives and members of the multibillionaire Sackler family that owns the Purdue pharmaceutical company. Purdue and some other painkiller makers are currently facing more than 300 lawsuits from city and county authorities across the country.
Currently, there are 2 million Americans addicted to opioid drugs, and more than 300,000 people have died from opioids since 2000. The Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016 shackled the DEA from cracking down on Big Pharma drug traffickers who sell millions of opioid pills to small pharmacies and clinics who, in turn, sell the pills to street dealers. There is no excuse for Congress refusing to repeal the law now, except that parts of the federal government support the opioid industry.