Fentanyl seized in Houston is enough to ‘kill everyone in Houston and the surrounding areas’
HUSTON – The Drug Enforcement Administration is calling Fentanyl, “the deadliest drug threat facing the country.” It’s such a growing problem in Houston as Fentanyl seized by the DEA doubled this year.
The amount of Fentanyl found and seized by the DEA in Houston in 2022 alone is alarming. In fact it was enough to kill every person in Houston, Harris County and the entire metropolitan area.
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“Overdoses as you know, according to the CDC, have skyrocketed,” explains Deputy Special Agent in Charge Tracey Mendez with the DEA Houston Field Division.
Because so many people are dying from Fentanyl, the DEA is cracking down on the dealers. This year, federal agents have seized 7.8 million lethal doses of Fentanyl-laced pills and powder from the streets of Houston.
“This could potentially kill everyone in Houston and the surrounding areas,” Mendez explains.
“Talk to your kids. It’s never too early to talk about it,” adds Houston’s father, David McGuffin.
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The highly problematic man-made opioid, which is 50 times more potent than heroin, caused McGuffin’s son Will to overdose three times.
“In November 2020, which was the second time, he spent 18 days in the hospital, was on a ventilator and then retired,” says McGuffi. But last year his son died of Fentanyl poisoning.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him, I wish he was here,” says the grieving father.
Most who buy it believe they are taking a prescription pill like Oxycontin, Percocet or Xanax. The counterfeits look like the real deal, according to the DEA, and are produced primarily in Mexico by two specific drug cartels.
“They don’t care if people are dying from it,” says Deputy Special Agent Mendez.
The DEA is not only finding fake prescription pills tied to Fentanyl, but the synthetic substance is also being sold in “Meth, cocaine, heroin, to increase the power levels. So they are increasing the level of addiction. If they drive up at the addiction level, they create a larger customer base. They’re making more money. They’re in the business of making money. So what they’re doing is creating a mass amount of Fentanyl in pills, and they are flooding this country just to make ends meet, to increase their ability to make money,” explains Mendez. “It’s extremely concerning and it’s something that we as an agency across the board are focused on.”
Fentanyl poisoning victims are getting younger, and that’s no accident.
“There’s rainbow Fentanyl, they’ve included the color and they’re using it as a marketing ploy,” says Mendez.
“I hope God enforces our law, our government lets these people know we’re coming for them. We’re not going to stop,” McGuffin adds.
In fact, Drug Enforcement Agents for our region are currently working over 70 different Fentanyl poisoning investigations to prosecute dealers, the latest victim of which was just 14 years old.
In addition to sharing this story with your kids and talking to them about the deadly drug threat, the DEA has launched a Faces of Fentanyl memorial. If you search #JustKnow on Twitter, you’ll see DEA tweets about young people who have died from Fentanyl poisoning. This can also be a good way to discuss the risks with your youngsters.