The Fentanyl Flood Into the US – Why Can’t We Make It Stop?

About eleven times every hour, about 250 times a day, an American citizen dies of a drug overdose. The most frequent culprit is fentanyl.

The most popular mode of delivery is fentanyl laced heroin, fentanyl mixed with cocaine or illegally produced OxyContin pain pills containing fentanyl. And it’s not just hard-core addicts who are dying.

The Centers for Disease Control reports overdose deaths skyrocketed to a mind boggling 93,000 last year, a 29% increase over the previous year. The death rate is now so frightening a bipartisan group, called Families Against Fentanyl, asked the president to declare the synthetic opioid an official Weapon of Mass Destruction.

Think about this. Ninety-three thousand Americans dead in one year. That’s more than we lost during in the entire Vietnam war. That’s more than the population of Santa Fe, New Mexico; Palo Alto, California; or St. Joseph, Missouri.

Compared to a Penny – Right is a Lethal Fentanyl Dose

So where is all this fentanyl coming from, why does it keep pouring into this country year after year and why has the U.S. government been unable to stop it? The short answer to the first question is China, the same country that unleased the Covid-19 virus upon the world.

But China is only a cog, albeit the largest one, in a far-flung supply network that seems impossible to disrupt. Laboratories in China produce fentanyl then ship their manmade poison to the United States via international mail. Our postal system tries to control the flow but it’s an impossible task. Also, Chinese drug lords send large amounts of fentanyl to associates in Mexico, and to a lesser degree, Canada. Operatives then move the deadly product across the U.S./Mexico border and, less frequently, across our northern border.

And now, according to a declassified government report, India is getting in on this most profitable business. Labs there produce fentanyl and ship it directly to both China and Mexico. Naturally, much of it ends up in U.S. cities and towns because, sadly, that’s where the demand is.

Its clear China is the biggest player here. For years President Xi Jinping has given us lip service on his willingness to shut down his country’s illegal fentanyl factories. In 2017, the U.S. began to indict major Chinese manufacturers but there is no indication the Chinese government ever arrested any of them.

Hey, President Xi, Are You Really Trying to Curb Illegal Fentanyl Production?

It is also clear that the unprotected route through Mexico is a major contributor to the fentanyl flood into the United States. As U.S. Border Patrol agents are overwhelmed dealing with immigrants – more than 212,000 of them in July – drug mules find plenty of opportunity to slip through unpatrolled and unfenced border areas.

Our immigration policy, coupled with the almost unfettered flow of fentanyl, has turned Mexican drug lords into billionaires, if they weren’t already. Not only do the cartels make boatloads of money selling the opioid on American streets, they also charge immigrants thousands of dollars in exchange for guaranteed safe passage to the U.S. border. Once here many immigrants are intimidated into working the drug trade. A recent report from Customs and Border Patrol estimated that the cartel’s human traffickers made some $411 million just during the month of February. That’s more than $14 million a day.

So, wondering what can be done to stop the ever-increasing overdose death rate caused by fentanyl? The answers seem clear. First, clamp down on China with more trade sanctions. And, how about a strict embargo on all mail and packages from China (or Hong Kong) coming into the United States? That maneuver would cripple the Chinese economy and surely make President Xi more cooperative in the fentanyl fight.

Next, seal our borders, especially the southern border with Mexico. Finish the damn wall or recruit legions more border patrol agents. It is only logical that if drug mules cannot get into the U.S. then neither can their lethal cargo. Something must be done because the status quo is killing our children. It is not acceptable.

This is not about politics, or who started or stopped building the border wall. Please, let’s get past that paralyzing mindset. This is about losing city-sized populations every single year. Doesn’t that warrant an immediate and forceful reaction?

The government’s primary role is to protect its citizens. Curbing fentanyl deaths is an obvious tragedy in need of immediate attention.



  1. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 11:46 am

    Robert Tepper writes:

    Ms. Diane:

    Another great opinion piece from your corner…why…can’t we get people to listen and do something about this remains as you say, the big question. Hopefully many pols will hear of your article and it may sink in!

    Keep up the great work!


    Robert Tepper
    Albuquerque, NM

    • Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 11:51 am

      DD replies:

      Dear Mr. Hooker:

      I’m truly baffled by your email. You write: “It’s easy to pitch big programs but who will pay?” and “How much do you recommend the federal government borrow from China each year to save 92,000 lives.”


      Nowhere in my column did I suggest any new “big program” nor did I mention anything about borrowing money from China. Perhaps you will re-read my column with this in mind? I wrote:

      “So, wondering what can be done to stop the ever-increasing overdose death rate caused by fentanyl? The answers seem clear. First, clamp down on China with more trade sanctions. And, how about a strict embargo on all mail and packages from China (or Hong Kong) coming into the United States? That maneuver would cripple the Chinese economy and surely make President Xi more cooperative in the fentanyl fight.”

      As for your opposition to securing our southern border by finishing the wall … I don’t know what to tell you. We will simply have to agree to disagree. I’m a life-long animal lover and owner. But I think HUMAN lives must come first – both American citizen’s lives and the lives of the hundreds of thousands of migrants who make that most dangerous journey to our border.

      Thanks for taking the time to write to me.

      Diane Dimond

    • MJS on February 8, 2022 at 1:48 pm

      If our news reporters starting showing pictures of the hundreds of thousands of people murdered in Mexico by the cartels to get drugs to flow into the US borders, maybe those who think it’s cool to light up or inject to know who they finance to get high.

  2. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 11:47 am

    Mike Daly writes:


    The solution is to make drugs legal and treat the afflicted. Prohibition provided the preview except we learned from the effects and ended it while keeping the War on Drugs alive. Shame on Richard Nixon for starting it; shame on us for not being bright enough to see the folly and deal with it intelligently.


  3. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 11:48 am

    Juan Green writes:

    Great article on fentanyl. Our worthless NM US senators like the rest of the politicos don’t care. I have called their offices repeatedly on this and the massive illegal flow and they say thank you and that’s it. I am going to call Monday and reference your article.


    Jd Garcia

  4. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 11:50 am

    John Hooker writes:

    Dear Ms. Dimond,

    In regard to your column in today’s Albuquerque Journal, “The fentanyl flood into the US; why can’t we stop it?”

    It’s easy to pitch big programs and projects, but who pays?

    How much do you recommend the federal government borrow from China each year to save 92,000 lives? The federal government and insurance companies have an actuarial cost of a American life. Perhaps Republicans from the border states might support a new tax to pay for the labor and equipment. Or do you think tariffs on imports from China might pay the cost?

    I oppose expanding a wall or fence along the US/Mexico border because of the terrible environmental impact it would have on the animals who live across the region. And Mexico hasn’t paid a dime for that folly.

    John Hooker


  5. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    ice cream writes:

    My son died of Fentanyl laced cocaine-He was turned into an addict at age 13 by his middle school teacher supplying marijuana, which stunted his brain development.
    How long will we allow teachers’ unions to cover up crimes teachers commit in schools? That music teacher destroyed my son’s future and our family and never received any punishment.
    The dance of the Lemons has to stop.
    I’ve met at least 6 other people who have the same tragic story to tell.

  6. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:16 pm

    John S writes:

    Stupid is as stupid does. I remember several acquaintances from the 60s who became addicted to various drugs and ended up dying of overdoses.
    From one perspective, it’s tragic, but from another I see it as nature’s way of culling the herd.

  7. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:16 pm

    BRITT STORKSON writes:

    I have personal experience with this problem.
    My wife died of a Morphine overdose.
    I’ve observed that selling drugs is a very profitable business whether it’s
    “legitimate” drug dealers (drug companies and/or doctors) or street thugs.
    Too many things seem to be aligned in such a way to suggest that our government, while not a direct participant, could be implicated as an accessory to the crime.
    This needs further investigation but I suspect anyone who attempts to do that won’t be around for very long.

  8. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    SamHill writes:

    China doesn’t seem to have an issue @ killing Americans! And who else easier to target than ones addicted to illicit drugs? And, of course, we can’t stop Fentanyl from coming in; it’s even being muled in by illegals.
    We aren’t going to stop all shipments from China either; which is how some gets in too!

  9. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    Huai Lang writes:

    As long as there is a demand, there will be the product.

  10. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    Elvira Finn writes:

    Not surprised to see India is now involved in taking down America. Based on what I see as someone working at a private university in America, we have a higher education system that hates America, educates our children to hate America, hates the middle class and upwardly mobile American citizens. The “faculty” is being made up more and more of people from China and India. H1Bs are being used to bring in people from India and China and they aren’t staying in the job their H1B was supposedly to fill, they move to other higher paying jobs in other fields within the university. This is about taking over this country and destroying most of the inhabitants through drugs, despair and ultimately poverty.

  11. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    Edward writes:

    I blame only the American people (all of us including politicians, our legal system and our drug lords) for this drug tragedy.
    We are the ones using these drugs and making many of them recreational legal (marijuana and other drugs do stunt the brain, especially our children).
    We bring this all upon ourselves – if we don’t use them, they won’t sell and won’t be in demand and therefor worthless.
    So many friends I know think marijuana and other drugs are great and safe and if the adults think this, our children will follow in their foot steps. With no morals or ethics or responsibility or truth or church or scouting, etc. left – decay will follow.
    Just look at our destroyed cities, our crooked government our dis functional educational system our hopeless families and on and on.

  12. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    Fredchandler writes:

    We are under attack by Mexico and China and God knows who else. There has to be a reason why we aren’t responding like it’s war and there is no way it a good reason…

  13. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    Brian Deets writes:

    To stop it, you need to get rid of the government backed importers

  14. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    tmrg3 writes:

    We can, but Biden won’t close the border.

  15. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    MMB writes:

    Biden is now responsible for so much of the bad news about our country, it is mind boggling.

    This is not American in any way.

    For a sitting president to act like this demands some kind of relief.
    Americans are not being led by a true American.
    Something is really wrong, and I believe it to be ALL connected to this administration, including the Fentanyl flood into the U.S
    What is being held over his head, or, who is pulling the strings?
    Time to find out before it is too late..mmb

  16. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    desertgirl02 writes:

    Even the dumbest of the dumb know that these drugs are deadly.
    The information is everywhere and for decades.
    I am less and less feeling empathetic or sympathy for Americans making the decision to put immediately deadly poison into their body.
    Spare me the cigarette and alcohol finger, they don’t kill with the same rapidity.
    (Yes, I know drunk drivers).

  17. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    Paul Fogt writes:

    Once anyone dumb enough to purposely take it, is gone, the demand will not be there any more.

  18. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    doloresmjohnson55 writes:

    The fentanyl drug should be contained by closing all borders and finish the southern border as was planned by the former president!
    Our government needs to awaken from its slumber.

  19. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:22 pm

    Monteaustin writes:

    Think about this. Ninety-three thousand Americans dead in one year.
    Multiply that number by 50 and maybe your close to the number of ongoing users of these drugs.
    That is the real problem.
    That is what is killing the US.

  20. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:22 pm

    John Augsbury writes:

    Does anyone else see the irony of China supplying fentanyl to Americans like the British supplied opium to the Chinese.

  21. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:22 pm

    William Harvie writes:

    Tough to do when there is essentially no border.

  22. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    James M writes:

    Supply and Demand. On the demand side, too many foolish and weak.

  23. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    Newsfeeds writes:

    The US Federal Government is a major player in the international drug trade. demorats (and I suspect more than a few rinos) have accumulated great wealth from it. The DEA and other agencies provide a price support mechanism and provide lifetime employment to tens of thousands of LEOs.
    The CIA and Military use the drug trade to support their “missions”. Unspoken is the obvious fact that they just abandon the opium business in Afghanistan. For what ? They must now be in a more lucrative business.
    The medical profession and hospital industry have embraced fentanyl as it is less costly (yet more profitable for pharma) than alternatives and provides “quicker deaths” to the terminally ill and aged, and is being pushed for other chronic pain. My experience caring for some hospitalized is the doctors pushing fentanyl and the RNs and PAs see the tragedy in it (and if asked suggest morphine, if needed).
    Finally, there are the “globalists’” goals of pacification of the masses and reducing global population (euthanasia).

  24. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:38 pm

    Ray Montgomery writes:

    Many young people don’t know what fentanyl is. The wave of marijuana legalization has made getting high acceptable, and legal. What young people don’t understand is that not all highs are equal.

  25. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    Monteaustin writes:

    Fentanyl is a very dangerous drug. When used intravenously, the patient should be on monitors for pulse oximetry and heart rate (continuously) and intermittent blood pressure monitoring. A sleeping patient and a dying patient and a dead patient look EXACTLY THE SAME, in the absence of monitors (just look into some peer review cases for PCA deaths-nobody from nursing staff to respiratory therapy bothered to check the post op patient and the anesthetist who wrote the PCA gets the responsibility for the patient death (Baloney-the night staff let the patient slip)).
    Point being, even in a hospital environment death from this drug is easy to accomplish.
    It has a place but should be used by people who know how to monitor the patient and are going to do so. Fentanyl is given in doses of 10-6 grams morphine is given in 10-3 grams a thousandfold difference.
    RNs and PAs are just as culpable MDs. I’ve certainly seen RNs push for more pain medication because they were “being patient advocates” meanwhile they weren’t asking themselves or the patient “Why are you having so much pain? Has something new happened that needs to be addressed?” Nope, just knee jerk more pain more pain medication. And the patient slipped off to die from the cause of the pain (ongoing or new hemorrhage from a bleed in an anastomosis, leakage from an intestinal anastomosis).

  26. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:41 pm writes:

    Very compelling article. Thank you.

  27. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    Nathan Hale writes:

    First, many drug overdoses can be attributed to the lockdowns, depression, etc. brought on by our draconian state governments. If Chinese Fentanyl is the cheap drug being used, then ask Biden to deal with China. Oh, wait. He’s been dealing with the CCP for years, which is why we can’t make it stop. There’s money to be made…

  28. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    Nancy Murphy writes:

    The tonnage of fentanyl coming into the country, deadly not merely to users, but also to those accidentally exposed to essentially invisible, insanely tiny amounts of this stuff, is inexcuseable.
    Why do “ranking” Democrat Politicians, Democrat Party Apparatchiks, and other totalitarians obsess over a pathogen predictably harmless to virtually all save the very elderly and those made vulnerable by other serious, mortal conditions?
    It was one thing to take serious action in the beginning, when the pathogen was at it’s most deadly and little was known.
    But now we know a lot; we have even gained all sorts of longterm useful info on the benefits of hydroxychloroquine combined with certain antibiotics, on the startling usefulness of ivermectin in fighting corona virus, of the remarkable power of another old, cheap, reliable drug – an anti-cholesterol medicine – to massively reduce the damage/danger.
    Even immunosuppressant meds have proven lifesaving (the deadly pneumonia that forms results from the effects of the immune response; repressing that response allowed one doctor to save dozens who were expected to die.
    But no, Democrats and totalitarians can’t allow a focus on the good news, or channel resources and rules to protect the super-vulnerable while the wave passes through; instead, they claim to try to hold back the tide, but won’t allow coffer dams or even many ships.
    The vaccines are like improvised rafts in a tidal wave, life-saving to a few, but impractical and even dangerous as an only response.
    But Fentanyl is deadly, period.
    People surviving addiction to it for short periods does not excuse ignoring it.
    People wanting a new form of “high” does not excuse ignoring it.
    If people are reaching for fentanyl and heroin, etc., to “self-medicate,” then let’s stop preventing them from getting access to enough hydrocodone or other relatively effective painkillers that don’t accidently slaughter others.

  29. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    Tamaracommunicates writes:

    Sinister plan by global elites to eliminate many Americans

  30. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    Ray Montgomery writes:

    The author is absolutely correct. But as long as demorats are in power
    nothing will be done.

  31. Diane Dimond on August 23, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    NavyVet writes:

    The democrat government’s primary role is to serve the whims of democrats, which includes shafting Americans.

  32. Diane Dimond on August 24, 2021 at 4:20 pm

    Jadabq writes:

    It was very informative & answered my question of how come there has been an upsurge in the use of illegal drugs in the recent (5-7 yrs) past?

    Keep up your good articles. Joe D.

    P.S. If only you could correct the spelling of your last name =
    DIAMOND = you certainly are a gem !

  33. Diane Dimond on August 25, 2021 at 1:31 pm writes:

    Why is this largely ignored by the media?

    It’s heartbreaking We know it’s being transport thru Mexico and yet….

  34. Diane Dimond on August 25, 2021 at 1:33 pm

    Gina_McDonald@GMcDee2 writes:

    Thank you @DiDimond for your take on the #fentanyl crisis that’s killing our children.

  35. Diane Dimond on August 25, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    John Steffen writes:

    Good morning Diane, greetings from Findlay Ohio, thank you so much for your just fabulous article on fentanyl, your editorials nail it right on the spot every time, thank you for your diligence and research keep up the good work I’m so happy that you’re part of our editorial page in Findlay Ohio.

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