The vast majority of fentanyl entering the country is smuggled through official ports of entry—not bypassing them.
With the United States in the throes of an opioid overdose epidemic, a distorted narrative is circulating, pointing fingers at immigrants for the crisis. As Denver, Colorado seeks opioid treatment solutions, it's essential to base actions on facts, not misconceptions.
Contrary to claims by some conservative policymakers, the majority of fentanyl is not brought into the country by undocumented immigrants. Customs and Border Protection data reveals that the primary mode of smuggling fentanyl is through official ports of entry, predominantly by US citizens.
America has a long history of associating immigrants with drug crises as a means of furthering exclusionary policies. For instance, Chinese immigrants were linked to opium in the 1880s, facilitating the Chinese Exclusion Act. Similarly, Mexicans have been wrongly associated with marijuana, leading to racially targeted policies.
The Drug Policy Alliance highlights that many individuals, including some from immigrant backgrounds, may engage in drug selling due to economic constraints or a lack of integration opportunities. Understanding their complexities instead of vilifying them is vital for a more humane approach.
Research and advocacy have continually shown the pitfalls of strict enforcement without addressing the root causes of drug addiction. Policies that emphasize criminalization often exacerbate the problem. For instance, the Iron Law of Prohibition indicates that prohibitive measures lead to more potent drugs in unregulated markets.
To effectively address the opioid crisis in Denver, Colorado:
To combat the opioid crisis effectively, Denver, Colorado, and the entire US, must separate myths from facts. Baseless associations and fearmongering don't serve the community but rather divert attention from genuine solutions. If you or someone you know is seeking opioid treatment in Denver, Colorado, rely on evidenced-based programs and interventions.