All over America, families are being broken by fentanyl.
Fifty times more powerful than heroin, this deadly drug is more addictive than anything that’s come before. It’s been in circulation in America for a decade, fuelling an unprecedented addiction crisis.
A ruthless criminal network stretching back to Mexico, China and beyond, is pushing it into schools, clubs and onto the streets to hook people. In the US, more than 70,000 people a year are being killed by this synthetic opioid.
Now, in a terrifying twist, fentanyl is killing school children who are buying pills laced with the drug on social media, and overdosing in their classrooms and in their beds.
The teachers, some of whom keep the reversal treatment narcan on hand in case a student overdoses at school, are calling for more treatment for mental health in children, a need even more urgent after the isolation many young people faced over the COVID pandemic.
The police leading the drug busts want more resources and better border control. They need help to break the criminal chain that is supplying the drugs.
They all agree that action is needed now more than ever.