Counterfeit Prescription Pills Flood San Diego County; Cartels May Be To Blame

Counterfeit Prescription Pills Flood San Diego County; Cartels May Be To Blame

Overdoses on illegally-purchased opioids aren’t only possible anymore- they’re practically guaranteed.

In 2018, San Diego watched 92 of its citizens die from fatally-laced, illegally-sold opioids. According to San Diego County Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force, the death rate from opioids has already surpassed this number of fatalities in 2019, and this year isn’t over yet.

An epidemic of deaths related to substance abuse has risen in Southern California, and unfortunately, it shows no sign of falling. The culprit of many, if not most, of these opioid deaths is a synthetic chemical called Fentanyl.

Fentanyl, officially branded as Subsys, Duragesic, and Abstral, is a narcotic pain medication that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. That might be a hard concept to fathom, but unfortunately, it isn’t a hard chemical compound to manufacture. 

 A report that surveys the chemical makeup of street opioids released a fentanyl-specific report for October 2019 this past week.

The October 2019 Fentanyl Signature Profiling Program Report showed that at least 27% of the opioids seized from the streets of San Diego contain lethal amounts of Fentanyl. In other words, someone has a one-in-four chance of dying each time they decide to ingest one of those blue pills they bought from their drug dealer or even on the dark web.

Citizens and authorities alike want to understand where these illegal pills are coming from, and who is doing the deadly lacing. Unfortunately, the DEA points its fingers beyond the southern United States borders, where many drug-smuggling empires are producing fentanyl-laced opioids in masses. The DEA states: “Mexican drug cartels are manufacturing mass quantities of counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid that is lethal in minute doses, for distribution throughout North America.”

By slipping this drug into the recipes for those little blue Oxys one might buy on the street, the Mexican Drug Cartel can attain a more massive profit. However, with its extreme strength and high risk of death, Fentanyl only promises dark endings when infused into an illicitly-sold opioid.

Without a doubt, the United States is the largest market for the Mexican Drug Cartel. Despite the attempts at controlling this widespread plague of opioid addiction, the Cartel retaliates and continues to profit off of its exploitation of addicted Americans.

Meanwhile, in its homeland, the Mexican government struggles to adequately control the retaliations set forth by the Mexican drug cartels. Corruption floods the Mexican government, and unfortunately, drug cartels are exercising more power than the Mexican government is currently able to defend itself against. Cartels can even negotiate with the government in Mexico regarding its acts of terrorism – something the United States would never stand for.

With so much turmoil on its home soil, the Mexican government is having trouble controlling its opioid manufacturers.

The power of the Mexican drug cartel in regards to the Mexican government is, in part, why these drugs are being more easily produced and sold within and across the Mexican border. While the Mexican government struggles to establish dominance and maintain power over its cartels, the cartels continuously profit off of the disease of addiction.

Citizens of San Diego are encouraged not to ingest any substance that is not prescribed by a physician and seek a rehabilitation center for their addictions if they are unable to manage their lives any longer. Treatment is available for addicts and alcoholics who need substance abuse treatment.

No one is safe from the disease of addiction. Get help today if you or a loved one are struggling.


I am a pop culture and social media expert. Aside from writing about the latest news health, I also enjoy pop culture and Yoga. I have BA in American Cultural Studies and currently enrolled in a Mass-Media MA program. I like to spend my spring breaks volunteering overseas.

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