Two West Virginia senators are urging the federal government to take greater actions to combat fentanyl importation into the country. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Shelley Moore Capito pointed to statistics showing an increase in fentanyl overdoses in a letter to the heads of the Departments of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Homeland Security, noting that fentanyl-containing drugs are frequently “purchased illegally on the dark web.”
The senators have asked the agencies to describe concrete steps they will take to “improve their capacity to conduct cyber investigations into fentanyl trafficking,” as well as to answer a series of questions about combating the pervasiveness of fentanyl purchases from darknet markets. The current opioid epidemic in America has hit West Virginia particularly hard, with the state’s attorney general even attempting to categorize the drug as a “weapon of mass destruction.”
“West Virginia has experienced the greatest number of opioid-related overdose deaths in the US for several years.” The state has been devastated by this disaster, which has destroyed thousands of families…
The scarcity of treatment choices affects more than just people suffering from addiction. It has an impact on businesses looking to hire new employees and assist staff in need of treatment, as well as homeowners concerned about falling communities and house values.” – Sen. Capito’s office in West Virginia
Overdoses from synthetic opioids have increased dramatically in the United States since 2014, coinciding with the emergence of fentanyl-containing drugs obtained via darknet markets. CDC is the source.
For years, West Virginia has led the nation in drug overdoses by state by a large margin. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there will be an expected 81.4 overdoses per 100,000 West Virginia residents in 2020. (age-adjusted rate). The next closest location was Washington D.C., which had a rate of 58.1, followed by Kentucky, which had a rate of 49.2.
According to a research published in November 2017, an estimated 58% of West Virginia prisoners suffer from drug dependency or misuse.