Commissioner Morrison: Fentanyl Epidemic Can No Longer Be Ignored

Commissioner Morrison: Fentanyl Epidemic Can No Longer Be Ignored
Veteran's Memorial Park


Commissioner Morrison: Fentanyl Epidemic Can No Longer Be Ignored (Cook County, IL) — Cook County Commissioner Sean Morrison (R-17) released the following statement today regarding the fentanyl epidemic we are seeing:

Drug overdose or poisoning is the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18-45. Nearly 70% of those deaths are due to opioids, including fentanyl.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says that the large majority of the drug is sourced from China and trafficked into the U.S. by the Mexican Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels. We have seen record high illegal border crossings since President Joe Biden came into office, and the DEA says it seized enough deadly fentanyl in 2022 to kill every American.

Here in Cook County, the Medical Examiner’s Office has confirmed 2,000 opioid overdose deaths for 2022, breaking the previous record of 1,935 set in 2021. More than 91% of opioid overdose deaths involved fentanyl. Fentanyl is up to 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Approximately 78% of the opioid overdose deaths are male. African Americans make up 56% of the deaths, Latinos account for just under 15% and whites constitute 29% of the deaths. Just over 70% of the overdose deaths were in Chicago.

These numbers and statistics are staggering. It should alarm every person in Cook County and across our country. But, many of our elected leaders don’t seem to be bothered by the fentanyl epidemic as shocking as that might sound.

There is no denying the fentanyl epidemic is being ignored on the front line by President Biden with his open border policy. While in our state of Illinois with a Democrat controlled super-majority which includes Governor Pritzker, the state house and senate, they reduced criminal charges for fentanyl through the passage of the Safe-T Act. Sadly, this comes on the heels of two consecutive years of record high opioid/fentanyl overdose deaths here in Cook County.

What we need is an acknowledgement that current policies are failing, and a new course of action must be charted or the opioid/fentanyl death counts will continue to tragically grow across Cook County and America. Elections matter and, unfortunately, the results from recent elections have brought bad policies which have allowed the fentanyl epidemic to explode – costing tens of thousands of lives.

It’s time to tackle this deadly epidemic head on. The federal government must tighten the entry points at our borders and crack down on the external producers of this deadly drug. Illinois needs to reverse course and strengthen its laws against the illegal distribution and sale of fentanyl. On the local level, we need to expand access to comprehensive drug treatment to end the cycle of abuse. The time to act is now.

Call your elected leaders and demand action.

Commissioner Sean M. Morrison
17th District, Cook County

Commissioner Morrison: Fentanyl Epidemic Can No Longer Be Ignored


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