California Seized Enough Fentanyl in 2023 to Kill Global Population ‘Twice Over’

California Seized Enough Fentanyl in 2023 to Kill Global Population ‘Twice Over’

Heroin and fentanyl pressed into pill form as seen in a file photo. (Courtesy of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration)

Lorenz Duchamps

Lorenz Duchamps

2/29/2024

Updated: 2/29/2024

Authorities in California seized enough lethal doses of fentanyl last year to kill the entire global population “nearly twice over,” according to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office.
In a statement on Feb. 27, the Democrat governor said operations supported by the state’s National Guard, or CalGuard, led to the seizure of a record 62,224 pounds of fentanyl in the state and at ports of entry in 2023, marking a 1,066 percent increase since 2021.
The street price for the intercepted fentanyl would be about $670 million, according to calculations using the Los Angeles High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area price sheet for that year.
According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, two milligrams of fentanyl is considered a potentially lethal dose, and one kilogram of the drug has the potential to kill 500,000 people.
“Fentanyl is a poison, and it does not belong in our communities,” Mr. Newsom said. “California is cracking down, increasing seizures, expanding access to substance abuse treatment, and holding drug traffickers accountable to combat the immeasurable harm opioids have caused our communities.”
In 2022, authorities in the Golden State seized 28,765 pounds of fentanyl, up from 5,334 pounds in 2021.
To tackle the evolving opioid addiction crisis in California, Mr. Newsom allocated $1 billion to law enforcement agencies and other public entities across the state to combat overdoses and raise awareness about the dangers of opioids such as fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is a major contributor to drug overdose deaths in the United States.
The state’s billion-dollar plan included a multi-million dollar effort to boost CalGuard’s work in preventing drug-trafficking transnational criminal organizations. Since it was launched last year, more than 140 new CalGuard members have been hired, trained, and embedded to reduce fentanyl use in communities.
“The California National Guard is committed to combatting the scourge of fentanyl,” CalGuard’s Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers said in a statement. “These extraordinary seizure statistics are a direct reflection of the tireless efforts of the highly trained CalGuard Service Members supporting law enforcement agencies statewide.”

Overdose Deaths

Fentanyl, an opioid approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat severe pain, is the leading cause of drug overdose deaths in the United States.
According to the California Overdose Surveillance Dashboard, there were 7,385 opioid-related deaths in California in 2022, of which 6,473 were fentanyl-related.
San Francisco is one of the communities most acutely affected by drug overdoses, with 813 fatalities in 2023, of which 657 were attributed to fentanyl, according to data released by the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
“Fentanyl is deadlier than any drug we’ve ever seen on our streets,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement on Oct. 27. “We must treat the trafficking and sale of fentanyl more severely and people must be put on notice that pushing this drug could lead to homicide charges.”
Drug deaths in the United States hit a new record nationwide in 2022, with nearly 110,000 people dying as a result of the opioid crisis, according to data released by the National Center for Health Statistics which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Washington and Wyoming saw the biggest increases in drug fatalities, according to the agency. Both states suffered a 22 percent increase in deaths linked to overdose.
The graph shows the amount of fentanyl seized in California from 2021 to 2023. (Office of Gov. Gavin Newsom/Screenshot via NTD)

The graph shows the amount of fentanyl seized in California from 2021 to 2023. (Office of Gov. Gavin Newsom/Screenshot via NTD)

Copy
facebooktwitterlinkedintelegram
Lorenz Duchamps

Lorenz Duchamps

Author

Lorenz Duchamps is a news writer for NTD, The Epoch Times’ sister media, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and entertainment news.

California Insider
Sign up here for our email newsletter!
©2024 California Insider All Rights Reserved. California Insider is a part of Epoch Media Group.