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10 Kilos Of Fentanyl Taken Off The Street In Whatcom County Last Month
Recently, ten kilograms of fentanyl was taken off the street of Whatcom County, a drug smuggling operation that involved operatives from across the country in Washington state. The drug bust, which took place in Wilmington, involved 75,000 counterfeit fentanyl pills. As a result, the opioid crisis, once fueled by Oxycontin, has been taken over by fentanyl, the country's leading cause of overdose death.
Last year, Americans lost nearly 108,000 people from drug overdoses; 71,000 of those deaths involved fentanyl, according to statistics from the CDC. From January 2021 to December 2021, there were over 3,681 opioid overdose deaths in the State of North Carolina, most of which involved fentanyl, according to the State’s medical examiner's office. In 2021, in Whatcom County, there were 50 drug overdose deaths listed in 2021, with fentanyl present in 29 of them. That number may seem minor. However, drugs are regularly trafficked through the county to other parts of the East Coast.
Why Are Fentanyl Overdoses So Deadly?
Fentanyl overdoses are unique because the drug is potent, nearly 100 times as strong as morphine. Many people use it recreationally after using other drugs for some time. Due to its potency, people addicted to heroin, Oxycontin, and other opioids often gravitate towards fentanyl. However, others who ingest the drug cannot handle its high potency, estimated to be 100 times the strength of morphine.
Whatcom County As A Trafficking Destination
North Carolina is often in the path of trafficking criminals, eager to make quick money selling fentanyl and other illicit drugs. The drugs seized from the three men - Guillermo Vieyra Salas, Manuel Lugo, and Jaime Alonso Hernandez-Hernandez were set to be distributed to smaller-time dealers in Whatcom County. In July of this year, a trafficking network of 12 was arrested in Whatcom, netting authorities 34 guns and 50000 fentanyl pills seized. Many were, no doubt, bound for destinations outside of the county as well.
“Taking these fentanyl-laced pills off the street is a top priority for federal law enforcement,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown after the most recent drug bust. “In this case, the defendants were allegedly able to order thousands of pills worth more than $100,000. Keeping these potentially deadly pills out of our community is a win.”
Fentanyl And Opioid Use Disorder
Fentanyl is a potent opioid that is highly addictive. It is also often used as an additive in less potent opioids without the drug user’s knowledge. This can easily lead to overdose deaths. People who use opioids may turn to street drugs or drugs sold online when they have trouble finding their drugs. Unreliable supply chains can cause overdose deaths due to the fly-by-night nature of many drug trafficking operations.
Opioid use disorder is not a character flaw. It’s a life-threatening condition that progresses when left untreated. If you or somebody you love is struggling with opioid use, there’s help. Millions of people have been able to break the cycle of addiction through treatment and the help of tools like Medication-Assisted Treatment and peer support groups.
Getting Help for Opioid Addiction In North Carolina
If you or somebody you love needs help reclaiming their life from an opioid use disorder, we’re here to help! We have helped people across the state detox and take the steps necessary to begin life in recovery. We offer many services, including pain management, for people who want to steer clear of opioids. Get in touch to learn more about our services at 910-295-7246.
If you are in need of help, please call us at: 910-295-7246 or message us.