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Families of victims lost to fentanyl plead with Congress to step up and address crisis

"Part of the problem here is the American public does not know how bad this is," Rep. Grothman said about the fentanyl crisis. The CDC says that fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.

Published: December 9, 2023 11:43pm

Family members of victims lost to fentanyl poisoning are pleading with elected officials in the nation's capital to address the drug crisis, saying that it is killing a young generation in America. 

"He did not want to give up fighting," one participant in the "Lost Voices of Fentanyl" town hall said in reference to her son, a recovering addict who died of fentanyl poisoning. "But fentanyl took his right to fight away from him, and I'm mad."

She went on to call on Congress to either do their job and address the crisis, or quit. 

"I don't understand how it's not on every news channel," she said. "It's gotta stop."

The DEA announced last year that authorities seized 379 million doses of fentanyl in 2022, up 94% from 2019. With many of the pills laced in such a way as to be lethal, that's enough of the drug to kill every single American, according to the agency.

Rep. Glenn Grothman R-Wis. said that closing down the southern border would stop a lot of the fentanyl trafficking since the chemicals to make the drug are coming from other countries. 

The Department of Justice filed charges earlier this year against four Chinese chemical manufacturing companies and eight people over allegations that they illegally trafficked chemicals used to make fentanyl.

"We're trying to increase the penalties for possession of fentanyl or bringing fentanyl across the southern border," Grothman said on the "Just the News, No Noise" TV show. "Right now, not enough is being done with these people. Secondly, we've got to close the southern border, and I think a lot of us feel that we cannot give the Biden administration anymore until we deal with our own invasion here."

Another participant who spoke at the town hall is Angela Parkerson who started the "The Never Alone Nick Rucker Foundation," a nonprofit to spread awareness about fentanyl. 

Parkerson's son Nick was not an addict, but died after splitting what he thought was a pill with a friend. It turned out to be fentanyl. 

"Fentanyl is not something we have 10 to 20 years to recover from," she said. "You need awareness with fentanyl. You need to be educating people."

Grothman said that people need to wake up to the grim reality of fentanyl deaths in the U.S. 

"Part of the problem here is the American public does not know how bad this is," he stated. "We've got to force the press to wake up and say, 'look, we have 100,000 people dying every year.' How many people is that?"

"I'm glad the parents are helping out on this," he later said. "It's a good thing to do for your children who've died. Trying to get these politicians and get these media outlets to talk about the huge, huge human toll, huge costs and suffering that the neglect of what's going on at the southern border is causing."

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