ATLANTA, GA — Attorney General Chris Carr has joined a coalition of 16 attorneys general in urging the U.S. Department of State to strengthen its efforts to fight back against the influx of deadly fentanyl into their states and the nation as a whole.
“It has been proven time and again that illegal fentanyl is flowing across our border from Mexico, and this must stop,” said Carr. “We will leave no stone unturned in our fight against the opioid epidemic, and we call on our federal partners to do the same.”
In a letter sent to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the attorneys general outlined their concerns regarding the production and distribution of fentanyl, including the trafficking of fentanyl from Mexico and China.
Historically, fentanyl was made in China and shipped directly to the United States. Following pressure from the federal government, China began taking action against illicit fentanyl manufacturing within its borders in 2019. However, Chinese labs then diverted precursor chemicals for fentanyl manufacturing to other countries, including Mexico.
Alarming quantities of fentanyl have been smuggled into the United States from Mexico. According to the U.S. Department of State, seizures of fentanyl directly shipped from China to the United States decreased dramatically from over 128 kilograms seized in 2017 to less than half a kilogram in 2020.
Today, most fentanyl available in the United States has been trafficked from Mexico across the U.S. Southwest border. Seizures of fentanyl at the border increased from approximately 1,187 kilograms in 2019 to approximately 2,939 kilograms in 2020.
Fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses have been increasing both in Georgia and nationally throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. From May 1, 2020, through April 30, 2021, all drug overdose deaths in Georgia increased from 1,577 to 2,057 (33.4%). During this same time period, fentanyl-involved overdose deaths increased from 482 to 994 (106.2%).
For access to services and immediate crisis help, Georgians are encouraged to call the 24/7 Georgia Crisis & Access Line (GCAL) at 1-800-715-4225.
In addition to Georgia, the following states joined in signing the letter: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and West Virginia.
Read the letter .