MIDLAND, Texas — A very important roundtable discussion and subsequent press conference took place at the Midland County Horseshoe Arena on Wednesday.
Gov. Greg Abbott and several high-ranking officials from the state of Texas and the Midland-Odessa area were in attendance, and the main topic of discussion was fentanyl.
One pill can kill. Fentanyl is the single-deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered.
One Midland hospital experiences, on average, one fentanyl overdose every single day.
Over 75,000 people died from fentanyl-related overdoses from February of 2021 to February of 2022, and it’s only getting worse.
Right now, the leading cause of death between 18 and 45-year-olds is fentanyl overdoses, and in the last year, Texas law enforcement has seized enough fentanyl to kill every American.
Abbott signed an executive order to designate Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations, while also sending a letter to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris urging them to do the same.
Abbott said that cartels lace ordinary pills with fentanyl to disguise its presence, and it only takes a minute amount to kill a person.
Abbott spoke out about this deadly issue that he calls a “fentanyl crisis."
“But here’s a point we must all come to grips with, America needs to awaken to the reality, there is enough fentanyl on our streets right now where all Americans can lose their lives to a drug that is completely invisible to them,” Abbott said. “This is extraordinarily dangerous and could be a weapon of mass destruction imposed by Mexican drug cartels.”
Abbott also said that the uptick in fentanyl-related deaths is directly related to issues at our border.
“It is directly related," Abbott said. "So, fentanyl, the subcomponents of fentanyl, are almost always made in China, and then they are exported to Mexico, and it’s the cartels in Mexico that then combine those elements and then lace them onto pills and then export them to Texas and the United States."
The proliferation of fentanyl has grown, while the age of distributors has decreased into high schools, truly making it a threat to everyone, including West Texas.
“And by God, please, please, if you’re a parent, be a nosy parent,” Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said. “If you see something in your child’s room that doesn’t look right, there’s a pill that you know they’re not prescribed, why is it there? Be that parent.”
Abbott also wants to reclassify fentanyl overdoses as fentanyl poisonings, while increasing punishment to murder for anyone who knowingly supplies it to a person who ends up dying from it.
Eliminating the suppliers is the main focus to disrupt this epidemic.