Fentanyl epidemic needs to come to an end

Cameron Jett, Editor-in-Chief

Let’s sober up and address the elephant in the room. America has a crippling drug problem.

Nobody’s denying it, but it’s so prevalent that it’s turned into a talking point and somehow lost the fact that thousands are dying from overdoses every month. There are conflicting statistics on the matter, but stats from the CDC say that over 110,000 people in America lost their lives from drug overdoses in 2022. 

That’s more than twice the number of people living in Monroe. It’s also the highest in the nation’s history.

According to NPR, a lot of those deaths came from fentanyl. A good chunk of those people likely didn’t know what they were putting in their system. The most minute amount of it can be mixed in with other drugs or found on everyday objects. 

It’s a terrifying reality caused by terrible people—people so terrible that we should call them terrorists. 

I’m not joking. These cartels that create and distribute one of the most lethal man-made substances are just as vile as those groups that led us to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Let’s be skeptical about the numbers I mentioned earlier. Let’s say 70,000 of the 110,000 deaths were caused by fentanyl. That comes out to almost 24 times more deaths than 9/11 each year. 

But instead of a hellish display of smoke and destruction, it’s a slow burn that repeats itself every day in this country. 

Both political parties have some worthwhile ideas for lowering fentanyl deaths, and I don’t understand why they aren’t open to embracing both. 

It will take some of the no-nonsense, old-fashioned approaches to deal with powerful figures such as the cartels. But we shouldn’t lump all fentanyl deaths into a camp of people who got what they sought after. It’s found its way into other narcotics and even marijuana. 

We should absolutely have communities stocked with life-saving resources like Narcan available to stop overdoses—accidental or not. At the same time, we should also be pushing for fentanyl dealers to face life behind bars because they are altering lives—if not ending them.

We should be educating about the latest forms that the deadly drug is being pushed in while also working to increase our presence along the border to shut down distributors right as they get into the country.