A recent study found that more than one in four legal pharmacies near American tourist destinations in Mexico are allegedly selling methamphetamine- and fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills.
The study claims that, of 40 pharmacies visited by researchers, 26.8% sold counterfeit pills. Common counterfeits included methamphetamine-laced Adderall and fentanyl-laced Oxycodone.
The researchers warned that the availability of these counterfeit medications laced with fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine presented an enormous public health risk.
They also identified three contextual factors contributing to the dangerous situation.
First, medical tourism has made Mexico a destination country for Americans. This has become a key concern of U.S. policymakers during the fallout from the kidnapping and murder of two U.S. citizens who were visiting Matamoros, Mexico, for cosmetic surgery, as The Dallas Express recently covered.
Second, the number of opioid prescriptions written by doctors in the U.S. has dropped in response to high rates of addiction among Americans. This has affected patients suffering from chronic pain and has driven up demand for opioids on the black market.
Finally, counterfeit drugs are being laced with fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic drug that is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is highly addictive and is a key driver of the ongoing deadly opioid crisis.
Mexican drug cartels are key players in the traffic and sale of these deadly drugs. Their activities are accompanied by extreme violence, including executions stateside.
U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), and former Attorney General Bill Barr have led calls to classify Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.
As drug violence worsens across Mexico and police authority wanes, researchers involved in the recent study are concerned that legal Mexican pharmacies will double down on supplying counterfeit pills to American tourists.
Most of the pharmacies with counterfeits “were proximate to drug- and sex-tourism microneighborhoods catering to US tourists,” per the authors.
The pharmacies distinguished between “American” drugs and “Mexican” drugs, the study observed. Different drugs were provided to English-speaking customers compared to Spanish-speaking customers.
“English-only encounters were used given that preliminary ethnographic results indicated that controlled substances were often sold ‘only for tourists,’ so using Spanish might be associated with a lower probability of identifying counterfeit pharmaceuticals,” the paper read.
The researchers were unable to identify the death rate caused by these substances, citing “Mexico’s limited opioid overdose surveillance infrastructure.”
Close the borders
This is only happening in Mexico. Maybe drug addicts with “chronic pain” shouldn’t travel to Mexico to obtain illegal prescriptions.
Just a thought.
Me. Hopkins, the Southern problem isn’t the only problem. People are now buying plane tickets to Canada and crossing the Northern borders. Medication is cheap in Canada so don’t just blame Mexico.
My mom had pancreatic cancer and they were using fentanyl patches on her. She told the doctors don’t put that blank on me anymore. They then cut the patch into four equal pcs. That was better but she stopped them again. She informed the doctors that she didn’t want to be a zombie.
Parents need to stop blaming School District and watch their children and the kids they hangout with. What do teachers do next get a drug sniffing dogs in every classroom. Blame yourself and poor parenting.
I think you meant to reply to the post above mine.
Legalize all drugs. Heroin is safer. The war on drugs is over.
Yep. Regulations will make it all safer.
Regulations will not get rid of drugs. Sorry but you are wrong. Drug addicts need to help themselves. Sick of pitying people.
Legalizing narcotics will regulate the drugs people would want to obtain. If someone is trying to buy opioids that is what they would get and not fentanyl.
Am I the only person that actually read the article?
Here is a summary: people from the US are going to Mexico to buy opioids, but sometimes they are getting laced pills that contain fentanyl.