Abbott Administration: Fentanyl to be Treating as Poisonings, Not Overdoses

Texas Governor Greg Abbott commented Tuesday the state would treat fentanyl fatalities as poisonings, instead of overdoses.

This is an attempt to shift blame away from users and toward the Chinese makers and Mexican traffickers of the substance.

Ignorance Isn’t Overdosing

The decision to change the way people talk about the lethal synthetic substance came from a meeting between Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, local police officers in northern Texas, and the families of children who died because of fentanyl.

Sheriff Bill Waybourn of Tarrant County stated changing how the public and police officers address the issue would render a fentanyl-induced fatality a complete murder.

Virginia Krieger, whose 26-year-old daughter died of fentanyl toxicity in 2015, stated her daughter did not mean to take the drug and believed she was taking a prescription tablet for back pain.

“Overdosing means you regrettably consume an excessive amount of a recognized chemical. This is an insult to many bereaved parents out there, and the media should be aware of this,” Krieger said. “When someone handed my daughter a fentanyl tablet, it was poison.”

“This was not a case of overdosing. She had no intention of ingesting fentanyl. That is what is occurring to a large number of our young people; we continue to refer to them as overdoses, distorting what a poisoning disaster is.”

Rise in Seizures

Abbott convened the conference to discuss the fentanyl crisis ravaging the country, contributing to drug importation.

Seizures at the federal and state levels in the United States have reached historic levels, as smugglers seek to bring the material from Mexico. Fentanyl seizures are rising, which means drug gangs are trying to get more of it across the southern border.

Fentanyl components are manufactured in Wuhan, China, then delivered to drug gangs in Mexico, where the finished product is typically laced with fentanyl.

Waybourn charged China with weaponizing narcotics entering the nation and directing them toward American adolescents.

Fentanyl murdered more Americans between the ages of 18 and 45 than any other cause in 2019, the most recent year for which data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are available.

Abbott said over 1,300 individuals died in Texas last year due to fentanyl use.

Waybourn added, “We have to form community partnerships with our schools, our churches, on the playground, and in the home.”

“We need to be gathered around the kitchen table, conversing with our children, and acknowledging even our university students who take the pill to stay up late studying will become hazardous. We need to get everyone on the same page so we don’t steal medications from anyone.”

In July 2021, Abbott signed a law that will make it more difficult for people who make or sell fentanyl in Texas to get away with it.