In Sight Crime – Fentanyl use is booming in the United States. With support from the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, InSight Crime mapped the distribution chain, and the role of Mexico’s criminal organizations in the trade in our series about fentanyl.
The alarming spike in synthetic opioid overdose deaths and the accompanying rise in the presence of fentanyl shows just how quickly long-established supply and demand for drugs can be overthrown. In a grim application of free market theory, fentanyl is the newest, cheapest, most easily-manufactured product. Demand has soared, and users are paying the price by the thousands.
Fentanyl and its precursors are produced at numerous chemical factories in China, trafficked through Mexican ports, and transported to the border and into the US by established Mexican groups by land, air, and sea. However, it also goes straight from China to the US in the mail, threatening to cut Mexican criminal groups out of the trade altogether.