Deadliest drug threat our nation has ever seen

Cathy Brownfield

It is an important time for families to have “the talk.” The conversations that need to be had are tough ones. Where does one begin to talk to his or her children about something so harmful?


The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) wants you to know about the 4,895 and counting photographs of Americans whose families desired to share their stories to, hopefully, help others to avoid the grief they have felt. The memorial, DEA Faces of Fentanyl Wall is located at DEA Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. The objective is to increase awareness and decrease demand for fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a highly addictive synthetic opioid that is driving the overdose epidemic in the United States. Trafficking of fentanyl is everywhere across the nation, every state. Last year, enough fentanyl was seized to kill every single American, said Anne Milgrim, DEA Administrator. Everyone is a target. On the memorial wall the youngest fentanyl-related death is Serenity Faith, 10-months-old, the oldest is James Cox, age 70.

Serenity will never go to kindergarten, never play softball or take ballet lessons. She will not go to prom or graduate from high school. She will not achieve the dreams her family may have had for her. And isn’t 70 the new 60? A good deal of life still left to be lived, but lost.

“These tragic deaths are not accidents,” Milgrim said.


Most of those who suffered fatal overdose did not know that the pill they took was fentanyl. The social media platforms – Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and other social media outlets – are perfect for hiding the identities of the dealers, the ease of accessibility, Milgrim noted. “Particularly Snapchat.” One stop shopping. Click and go. Order delivered to your door.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), between August 2021 and August 2022, 107,622 lives were lost to fentanyl-related overdose death.

The Sinaloa and Jalisco (CJG) cartels dominate the global supply chain. The cartels have been found in more than 40 countries. Authorities in the United States have called the Sinaloa Cartel “the largest, most violent, and most prolific fentanyl trafficking operation in the world,” Fox News reported last month.

The chemicals to make fentanyl are from China, shipped to Mexico where fentanyl powder is manufactured. Then it is pressed into pills that look like real prescription drugs such as Oxycontin, Percocet, Adderall and Xanax.

Many who buy these pills do not know they are taking fentanyl. Last year, Milgrim advised, the DEA seized enough fentanyl in the United States to kill every single American. To the cartels, life doesn’t matter. Through Chinese money laundering, the profits from their “products” are returned to Mexico.

Know the dangers and accessibility of the fake drugs online.

Take only medications that are prescribed for you and from a pharmacy.

Talk to family and friends about the dangers: One Pill Can Kill. The talk, no matter how difficult for you to do, could save a life.

FRC History Bites: The Criminal Justice program was greatly expanded between 1985-1990 to accommodate the growing demand from the courts.

Family Recovery Center has professional staff who are ready to listen when you have no one else to talk to. The goal is for the health and well-being of all. Contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or email Visit the website at You can find Family Recovery Center at Facebook. FRC is funded in part by United Way of Northern Columbiana County.

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