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Border Patrol agents seize enough fentanyl to kill 200,000 people

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This story was originally published on TheDarkWire.com. Click here to read it there and learn more about the nonprofit and our work.

Border Patrol agents in Yuma, Arizona discovered and intercepted enough fentanyl, a highly-potent synthetic opioid, to kill 200,000 people, according to a recent U.S. Customs and Border Protection press release. The seizure was made last Thursday at the Wellton Station, which makes up 65 miles of the U.S. border with Mexico, when agents were inspecting a vehicle moving through the checkpoint.

A Border Patrol canine alerted agents to the vehicle and a secondary inspection uncovered two plastic bags wrapped in hospital gowns full of fentanyl pills. The packages weighed 1.276 pounds and were valued at $18,500.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Derek Maltz, who once charged the Drug Enforcement Agency’s special operations division, says it takes the equivalent of four grains of salt in fentanyl to kill the average adult male.

Maltz appeared in The Dark Wire’s 2018 documentary “Not in Vein.” Click here to watch the film.

Although overdose death rates decreased by 4.1% between 2017 and 2018, synthetic opioid-related overdose deaths rose by 20% in 2018. In 2018, synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, claimed the lives of nearly 31,335 Americans, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates.

“Decreases in overdose deaths involving prescription opioids and heroin reflect the effectiveness of public health efforts to protect Americans and their families,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. in a March 2020 statement. “While we continue work to improve those outcomes, we are also addressing the increase in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids. We must bring this epidemic to an end.”

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Health Industry Distributors’ Association: Supply Chain Delays ‘A Healthcare Issue’

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The Health Industry Distributors’ Association (HIDA) released harrowing data stating “Transportation Delays Are A Healthcare Issue.” HIDA’s December release states, “research estimates that approximately 8,000-12,000 containers of critical medical supplies are delayed an average of up to 37 days throughout the transportation system.”

The statement continues, “The West Coast port with the greatest number of delayed medical containers are the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. The most congested East Coast port is the Port of Savannah.”

An infographic is accompanied with the statement which breaks down the crisis further. 17 is the average number of days the shipments are delayed at the Port. There’s an 11 day average delay by rail, and a 9 day average delay by truck.

In those shipping containers, the infographic states 187,000 gowns, 360,000 syringes and 3.5 million surgical gloves are held. The ports with the most medical delayed supplies are Los Angeles/Long Beach, Savannah, New York/New Jersey, Charleston, Seattle, Oakland, Boston, Baltimore and Houston.

Axios reports under a “Why it matters” headline, that “Per their projections, medical supplies arriving at a U.S. port on Christmas Day won’t be delivered to hospitals and other care settings until February 2022.”

As a result, “that could delay critical supplies at a time when health care is already expected to most need them due to surges from Delta and Omicron.”

Additionally, “The supply chain problems can compound, starting with medical supplies languishing in U.S. ports for an average of 17 days, officials said.”

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