Fentanyl overdose deaths claiming thousands of American lives; what is behind the rise? - Fox News

Fentanyl overdose deaths claiming thousands of American lives; what is behind the rise? - Fox News

Fentanyl overdose deaths claiming thousands of American lives; what is behind the rise? - Fox News
Aug 05, 2022 2 mins, 12 secs

Erin Rachwal, mother of a fentanyl victim, and Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow discuss the county's move to declare the deadly drug a 'health crisis.'.

Nearly one million people have died of drug overdose deaths in the past two decades, but a growing majority of those deaths in recent years have involved dangerous synthetic opioids like fentanyl. .

died of drug overdoses between February 2021 and February 2022.

Of those, more than 70% involved fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.

Whereas other plant-derived drugs like heroin and cocaine need to be grown and cultivated, synthesized drugs like fentanyl are cheaper – both for producers and consumers.

With fentanyl being a synthetic drug, you eliminate that process, and it’s much more lucrative," a Los Angeles Police officer and drug recognition expert told Fox News Digital.

You can get these illicit pills, like the M-30s, for $10 or $15 bucks each." .

Suspects arrested in connection with trafficking fentanyl were linked to a transnational criminal organization known to smuggle drugs, authorities said.

And then you have your big-name celebrities like (rapper) Mac Miller or (MLB player) Tyler Scaggs, who have more than enough money to buy whatever drugs they want, but they're … unknowingly overdosing on fentanyl." .

Investigative journalist and author Ben Westhoff, who chronicled the rise of the fentanyl epidemic in his book, "Fentanyl, Inc.," said it wasn’t until dealers really realized they could make so much more money by cutting other drugs with fentanyl that it became sort of a supply-driven phenomenon." .

The cartels then package the fentanyl into other drugs like Xanax and Adderrall, and ship them to the U.S.

His mother, Mary Pratt-Weiss, told Fox News Digital her son had struggled with addiction in the past but was starting to get his life back on track and was enrolled in a rehab program.

(Mary Pratt-Weis)

(Mary Pratt-Weis)

(Mary Pratt-Weis)

  (Mary Pratt-Weis)

died of a fentanyl overdose.  (Mary Pratt-Weis)

used to sell his artwork at festivals.  (Mary Pratt-Weis)

"The fact that Klonopin and fentanyl was in his system tells me that he was stressed, and he probably just wanted to have a little something calm him down," Pratt-Weiss said

That is why Pratt-Weiss, who is now on a mission to educate the public about the dangers of fentanyl, says the drug recognizes no race, class or gender. 

"I have a friend now whose daughter is addicted to fentanyl, and she’s gone through literally hell trying to get her into a rehab facility," Pratt-Weiss said

They need to be scrutinizing texts of their children under 18 (and) educating them in the sense that these things, even antidepressants, can be laced," Pratt-Weiss said

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