Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation honors Texas’ Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Month by remembering the victims of this debilitating crisis and advocating for common sense policies to help prevent more deaths nationwide. Policy Director for Secure & Sovereign Frontier Selene Rodriguez released the following statement:

“Fentanyl is rapidly becoming more available to every man, woman, and child across the United States. Today, more than five Texans die every day from deadly fentanyl.

“While this deadly drug is sweeping across the nation, we cannot ignore the main source of how it is getting onto the streets and into our homes—via the southern border.

“Mexican cartels that once ran marijuana and opium have shifted with the market and are now importing fentanyl from China and pressing it into pills and other drugs. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, cartels are increasingly building huge, industrial-scale labs to churn out synthetic drugs. The Drug Enforcement Administration reports that cartels mass produce the pills in Mexico to make them appear as oxycodone, hydrocodone, Percocet, and Adderall and then they market them in the U.S. as pharmaceuticals. Drug trafficking organizations typically distribute fentanyl by the kilogram. One kilogram has the potential to kill 500,000 people.

“Since the beginning of Texas’ Operation Lone Star over 429 million lethal doses of fentanyl have been seized. That does not account for fentanyl seized by Customs and Border Protection at ports of entry (POE), nor for Border Patrol field seizers in-between ports of entry.

“We applaud Gov. Abbott for his work in attempting to protect Texas from drug smuggling, and we are thankful to the Texas Legislature for setting aside October as a month to remember the lives the fentanyl crisis has taken.

“As we honor the lives of the victims lost to fentanyl poisoning, we must also hold our elected officials accountable to secure the border and aggressively counter human smuggling and drug trafficking. Without measures in place to secure the border, large numbers of gotaways will continue to spill into our country, and with them more drugs, more criminals, and more American deaths.”