Think you live too far from the Mexican border to be hurt by the chaos there?
Bloomfield is a picturesque village in central Connecticut, 3,500 miles from America’s southern border. But illegal drugs flowing across that border nearly killed a 16-year-old at Bloomfield HS two weeks ago. He tried marijuana, not knowing it was laced with fentanyl. Police rushed to the school nurse’s office and administered two doses of Narcan just in time to save him.
Responding to the surge in teen overdoses, Connecticut’s Gov. Ned Lamont is asking, “How did this happen? How is there more fentanyl on the streets than ever before?”
Look south, governor.
Hidalgo County, Texas, Sheriff J.E. Guerra, who operates on the frontlines of the border war, explained that he’s not worried drugs will affect his community: “The drugs go further north.”
Drug thugs cross the border disguised as needy migrants or even unaccompanied minors. Once in, they’re provided bus and airplane tickets to destinations across the United States. In some cases, charities — largely taxpayer-funded — pay for the tickets and hand the border-crossers cellphones and other items as they start their journeys north.
Other times, “Biden Air” flies migrants stealthily at night into places like Westchester County Airport, close to the Connecticut border.
And so far north, drug thugs are invading middle schools and high schools and killing our teens.
Last week, a Senate Finance Committee hearing documented the soaring death rates for teens, especially black ones. In the last two years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, overdose deaths tied to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl tripled among teens — and rose fivefold among black teens.
A 13-year-old student at the Sports and Medical Science Academy in Hartford, Conn., collapsed in the school gym three weeks ago and died from a fentanyl overdose. Police found 40 bags of fentanyl in two classrooms and another 100 bags in the boy’s bedroom.
Bags of fentanyl in a public-school classroom should evoke the same alarm as a school shooting or a bomb scare because that quantity could kill as many innocent students.
Not all young overdose victims are addicts. Fentanyl is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine. When teens experiment with fentanyl-laced drugs, they’re not just risking addiction. They’re risking death on the first try. No second chance. Fentanyl kills so fast that by the time first responders arrive, more often than not there’s no pulse.
Many teen victims “probably don’t have a substance-use disorder, they’re experimenting, making a bad choice, and they end up dead,” explains Roneet Lev, an emergency-room physician in San Diego.
A new federal report warns that until the drug influx is stopped, the death toll will continue to soar.
Congress’ response is a charade. It has directed Customs and Border Patrol to adopt new technology and scan 100% of cars and trucks passing through legal ports of entry. Right now, about 5% are scanned. True, more scanning will result in more seizures. But the cartels can shift more of their operation to crossing between the ports illegally. Democrats are resisting all efforts to close illegal entry.
Most migrants wading across the Rio Grande with backpacks and shopping bags are carrying necessities. But some are trafficking. A backpack sniffed out by canines hid five pounds of fentanyl stuffed in breakfast burritos. Estimated street value: $60,000.
As long as Democrats insist on open borders, killer drugs and drug dealers will pour in.
What is the Biden administration’s latest response? Allocating $30 million for drug kits to make drug consumption more sanitary. That’s crazy.
Parents need to warn their kids that experimenting with drugs even once can kill them. And they need to insist schools drill down on that message.
Connecticut, for example, requires drug-abuse education in each grade, but there is little emphasis compared with woke issues such as racial equity and gender fluidity. Instead of asking kids about their preferred pronoun, tell them to just say “No” to drugs.
The current woke culture in schools is an engraved invitation for drug dealers ready to literally make a killing off our kids.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York.