In my judgment, there is no time to waste in assigning this the status of a weapon of mass devastation.
According to the Families Against Fentanyl (FAF) organization, which is concerned about the dangers of synthetic opioids, deaths caused by fentanyl poisoning and overdoses should be counted in the same manner as deaths caused by COVID-19.
National Fentanyl Awareness Day was designated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for the first time on May 10 of this year. The organization, which is in regular contact with hundreds of people whose lives have been impacted by the opioid crisis, sent a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Xavier Becerra, and the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, to express its concerns regarding the opioid crisis.
In the letter, Becerra and Walensky are asked to “deliver meaningful provisional fentanyl fatality statistics within six weeks of death.” The letter also notes that the existing delay of six months prevents experts “from discovering potential patterns, and from responding correctly to the current problem.”
According to Families Against Fentanyl, an organization that is pressing the Biden administration to do the same thing, deaths caused by fentanyl poisoning and overdoses, including those that are suspected to have been caused by overdoses, are being monitored in the same way as COVID-19 deaths.
In addition to information on cases of deadly fentanyl poisoning, the organization is requesting that the government make public statistics regarding the frequency with which the antidote naloxone is used to reverse the effects of a fentanyl overdose.