Mocobizscene- The ongoing fentanyl crisis has become a dark undercurrent thread that has woven itself into the fabric of everyday life, and the country is grappling to fight it.
In 2023, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s division in New York single-handedly confiscated 37 million lethal doses of fentanyl, which accounted for 10% of the lethal doses seized across the country.
According to DEA NY, the drug poisoning epidemic claimed the lives of almost 6,000 New Yorkers, with half of the fatalities occurring in New York City.
A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) chemist is seen examining a seized powder containing fentanyl at the DEA Northeast Regional Laboratory in New York. (DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images)
Nearly $1.5 million worth of fentanyl was confiscated in the Bronx, just a few blocks away from the daycare center where a tragic incident resulted in the death of a one-year-old child.
Fentanyl in New York
In 2023, the DEA NY made a significant seizure, confiscating 4.2 million counterfeit fentanyl pills and over 500 kilograms of fentanyl powder. The alarming fact is that these quantities could potentially equate to 37 million lethal doses. This seizure contributes to the overall tally of fentanyl seized in the United States last year, which reached a staggering 386 million deadly doses.
According to the NYC Department of Health, there was a record-breaking number of drug overdoses in the city last year. A total of 3,026 individuals lost their lives, marking a 12% increase compared to the previous year. The primary culprit behind these tragic deaths is fentanyl, which is found in four out of five overdose cases in New York City.
According to Harry Nelson, a healthcare professional and author of the United States of Opioids, reports suggest that New York, just like other parts of the country, has easy access to opioids. He mentions that you can find someone involved in the trafficking of opioids within a few blocks of your location.
Drug use and drug-related seizures in New York experienced a notable surge.
- 270% increase in methamphetamine seizures in New York (2022 to 2023)
- 307% increase in methamphetamine pills in New York (2022 to 2023)
- 55% increase in cocaine seizures in New York (2022 to 2023)
- 119% increase in fentanyl pill seizures in New York (2022 to 2023)
In a recent incident in the Bronx, law enforcement authorities uncovered a staggering $5 million worth of fentanyl concealed within a hidden compartment of an SUV. This discovery highlights the ongoing battle against the illicit drug trade and the ever-evolving tactics employed by criminals to smuggle narcotics.
Little red plastic containers have been found in various areas of Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn, including the central lawn and playgrounds. Concerned about the possibility of them containing fentanyl, park officials issued a warning, urging visitors to exercise caution.
Law enforcement officers in the Bronx made a significant seizure this autumn when they confiscated more than 40 pounds of fentanyl, which had a street value of almost $1.5 million. This operation followed the tragic overdose death of a 1-year-old at a daycare center.
During the summer, authorities discovered a staggering 300,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills infused with fentanyl, along with over 11 pounds of powdered fentanyl concealed within a hidden compartment in a red Ford Expedition in the Bronx.
US fentanyl deaths
According to the CDC, synthetic opioids like fentanyl are responsible for over 150 deaths every day due to overdoses.
The bundles of blue pills were tested and confirmed to contain fentanyl, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Fentanyl’s potency surpasses that of morphine by 50 to 100 times, making even a small amount potentially lethal.
Drug cartels depend on synthetic drugs as they are cost-effective, easily accessible, and attractive to consumers.
The DEA officials are currently directing their efforts towards dismantling two cartels that they believe are primarily responsible for the widespread distribution of fentanyl in the country. These cartels are identified as the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco Cartel.
They claim that these cartels buy chemicals from Chinese companies, manufacture large quantities in Mexico, and subsequently smuggle and distribute the final product of fentanyl across the United States.
“Fentanyl remains the primary drug that is trafficked in the Northeast, causing great concern for parents who consider synthetic drugs to be their worst nightmares.”