AGs ask to designate fentanyl weapon of mass destruction

New Hampshire’s attorney general is joining 17 others in a letter to President Joe Biden asking that fentanyl be designated a weapon of mass destruction.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl poisoning is now the No. 1 cause of death in U.S. adults 18 to 45. The attorneys general said they’re troubled by the numbers showing that 75,000 U.S. adults in the country were killed by fentanyl poisoning between February 2021 and February 2022. They said their unorthodox request is a proactive step at preventing unimaginable consequences.The bipartisan group said that the fentanyl crisis has evolved from prescription drugs to heroin to synthetic opioids, including fentanyl. New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella said the drug could be the No. 1 cause of death in all states, including New Hampshire, by the end of the year.”Fentanyl is particularly lethal,” Formella said. “It can take only 2 milligrams to kill an adult. It is packaged in certain ways now that it can be particularly attractive to kids. It can be laced into other drugs.”Officials said there has been a big influx of fentanyl in Manchester and Nashua in the past year.”We encounter patients on a regular basis who tell us that, ‘Hey, I’m not a fentanyl user. I use cocaine,’ and all of a sudden, there’s fentanyl in it, and they become unresponsive,” said Chris Stawasz, regional director of American Medical Response.In their letter to Biden, the attorneys general said the amount of fentanyl confiscated by the Drug Enforcement Administration last year was enough to kill every man, woman and child in the country several times over.Formella said designating the drug as a weapon of mass destruction would bring more resources to bear.”What that would do is bring new federal agencies to the fight,” he said. “You could get the Department of Defense involved, the Department of Homeland Security involved and get them coordinating with federal agencies that are currently engaged and also with the states and with local law enforcement.”Formella said that while the designation might seem extreme, the concern is real. He said Russia used aerosolized fentanyl 20 years ago to end a hostage situation and ended up killing more than 100 people.

New Hampshire’s attorney general is joining 17 others in a letter to President Joe Biden asking that fentanyl be designated a weapon of mass destruction.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl poisoning is now the No. 1 cause of death in U.S. adults 18 to 45.

The attorneys general said they’re troubled by the numbers showing that 75,000 U.S. adults in the country were killed by fentanyl poisoning between February 2021 and February 2022. They said their unorthodox request is a proactive step at preventing unimaginable consequences.

The bipartisan group said that the fentanyl crisis has evolved from prescription drugs to heroin to synthetic opioids, including fentanyl. New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella said the drug could be the No. 1 cause of death in all states, including New Hampshire, by the end of the year.

“Fentanyl is particularly lethal,” Formella said. “It can take only 2 milligrams to kill an adult. It is packaged in certain ways now that it can be particularly attractive to kids. It can be laced into other drugs.”

Officials said there has been a big influx of fentanyl in Manchester and Nashua in the past year.

“We encounter patients on a regular basis who tell us that, ‘Hey, I’m not a fentanyl user. I use cocaine,’ and all of a sudden, there’s fentanyl in it, and they become unresponsive,” said Chris Stawasz, regional director of American Medical Response.

In their letter to Biden, the attorneys general said the amount of fentanyl confiscated by the Drug Enforcement Administration last year was enough to kill every man, woman and child in the country several times over.

Formella said designating the drug as a weapon of mass destruction would bring more resources to bear.

“What that would do is bring new federal agencies to the fight,” he said. “You could get the Department of Defense involved, the Department of Homeland Security involved and get them coordinating with federal agencies that are currently engaged and also with the states and with local law enforcement.”

Formella said that while the designation might seem extreme, the concern is real. He said Russia used aerosolized fentanyl 20 years ago to end a hostage situation and ended up killing more than 100 people.

https://www.wmur.com/article/attorneys-general-fentanyl-weapon-mass-destruction/41360752

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