Ending the opioid crisis in the United States and securing America’s borders are two critical parts of the same fight, and a new documentary shows how drug cartels are running roughshod over efforts to stop them and how the deadly poison they peddle directly leads to tens of thousands of overdose deaths in the U.S. each year.
“Not in Vein” is hosted by investigative journalist and Fox News Contributor Sara Carter. It’s a non-profit project and can be seen in it’s entirety at notinveinusa.com.
Carter says little attention was paid to the cartels as the opioid crisis exploded. Americans focused instead on the pharmaceutical industry and effective treatment programs. The reality, she says, is that we’re losing the battle at the border at “an unprecedented level.”
“I’ve been covering the border for decades. When I started my career, that’s what I started doing – covering the gang associations and border association, which led me into covering terrorism and terrorist organizations and the nexus between those organizations and terror groups. I thought that was damaging enough. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing in this film,” said Carter.
In 2017 alone, statistics show 72,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses. She says some morgues in Ohio have brought in extra freezers to handle the bodies of overdose victims because they’re running out of room in the usual facilities.
While heroin and other addictive opioids are relentlessly pushed across the border, the even greater danger now is fentanyl, a drug so powerful that just four grams is enough to kill someone.
Carter says fentanyl is being mixed with traditional opioids in shady laboratories in the U.S., China, Mexico, and elsewhere, and people are ingesting it while thinking it’s only a painkiller like oxycontin.
But fentanyl is not just endangering our kids and adults. Carter says it could be used to target many people at once.
‘That fentanyl could actually be used as a weapon of mass destruction. If you release fentanyl into the air at a movie theater, in a mall, you’re killing people that come into contact with it,” said Carter.
She says the threat is more global than many realize. Drug cartels are now doing business with terrorist groups in Africa and Carter says that type of collaboration could result in cartels smuggling even more things into the U.S. that could kill Americans.
But there are ways to fight back. Step one, says Carter, is for the U.S. government to declare drug cartels to be terrorist organizations.
“Once these guys are targeted as terrorists, we can unleash the best at them, whether that’s Delta Force, whether that’s Navy SEALs, and taking them out,” said Carter.
But Carter warns the front lines of this fight are much closer than the border. She says kids at almost every school in America are likely to be offered opioids, some of which might be laced with fentanyl, so parents must always be vigilant.