Home Letter To The Editor Fentanyl Is Here – With Willing Customers

Fentanyl Is Here – With Willing Customers



Reading accounts here and elsewhere it is clear we have a Fentanyl problem in America and that our part of California is not immune.

As difficult as it might be to understand the need of our young people to ingest a drug with a proven ability to shut down their systems and kill them it is apparent that they are not going to stop. And while many are quick to point to Mexico and China as the chief exporters of this killer chemical it should be known that domestic manufacturer Purdue Pharma and the Sackler Family grew rich selling their opioids through a deceptive marketing campaign that minimized the health risks of their product line and turned tens of thousands of youths and others into hopeless addicts.

We are still paying that price today, with fentanyl now the number one cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 45 and overdose deaths in the United States exceeding 100,000 in a 12-month-period for the first time.

There are national estimates that about 300 Americans die each day from fentanyl poisoning, many mere teens.

Despite the obvious threat it is plain to see that very little, if anything, is being done about the problem and that our inclination is to sweep any mention of it under the rug.


Stephen Allen/Concord


  1. The disproportionate policy response to the Purdue / McKesson / J&J opioid marketing scandals has far more to do with today’s fentanyl scourge than anything Purdue or the Sackler Family did. Indeed, the draconian scrutiny applied to opioid prescriptions has throttled the availability of legitimate opioid medication for millions of pain management patients with a bona fide need.

    Desperate for relief, those patients understandably seek alternative sources in the black market, thus inviting transnational smuggling organizations to establish criminal supply networks that opportunistically serve the unmet need. Of course, black market opioid peddlers are less concerned with addictive potential, dosing management and overdose risk than legitimate healthcare providers. Such legitimate providers’ clinical judgment superseded by uninformed, overzealous Cassandras motivated by headlines without regard to widespread patient suffering.

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