Large amounts of fentanyl were seized at the border during the first month of the 2024 fiscal year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported.
A social media post by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stated that the agency has already seized more than 387 pounds of fentanyl at the border since October 1.
“This is a deadly drug that destroys lives. Its precursors, analogues & finished product are all being smuggled into our country by criminals for financial gain (at & between our POEs). Threats like this are why border security is important & why you need USBP agents in the field & on patrol,” CBP wrote in the post.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) highlights the dangers of the drug on its website, stating that just 2 milligrams of fentanyl could be a lethal dose, depending on the person’s size, tolerance, and past usage.
Data from the DEA showed that 42% of pills tested for fentanyl contained a lethal dose, and an analysis “found counterfeit pills ranging from .02 to 5.1 milligrams (more than twice the lethal dose) of fentanyl per tablet.”
These reports come as the fentanyl epidemic has continually grown across Texas in the last few years.
Gov. Greg Abbott has taken multiple steps to raise awareness about this epidemic, including authorizing the creation of the fentanyl data dashboard, which is run by the Texas Department of State Health Services, per The Dallas Express.
This dashboard documents the growing crisis across the state that led to the deaths of 2,189 people in 2022.
In comparison, there were just 219 deaths due to fentanyl a mere five years earlier in 2017.
Another concerning part of the epidemic is the number of people dying from this drug compared to others, as the dashboard states that 44.48% of all drug deaths in Texas during 2022 were from fentanyl.
This percentage has grown every year since 2014, when fentanyl accounted for just 3.74% of all drug deaths.
Texas lawmakers have taken other steps in an attempt to curb the crisis.
Legislators passed House Bill 3144 during the 88th session, officially declaring October as “Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Month,” as previously reported by The Dallas Express. Last year’s #OnePillKills initiative, promoted by Gov. Abbott, helped build awareness of the issue.
In addition, three other fentanyl-related bills were passed in an effort to combat the crisis.
HB 6 states that anyone who supplies fentanyl that results in death can now face a murder charge.
HB 3908, known as Tucker’s Law, states that all public schools must provide students in grades 6 through 12 with information regarding the abuse of the drug.
Finally, Senate Bill 867 legalizes the distribution on college campuses of opioid antagonists, which can help reduce and reverse the effects of opioid poisoning.