Fentanyl is More Prevalent in Communities Across America Than What’s Being Reported: Former DEA Exec

Image: Wikimedia Commons (CBP Photography)

In 2023, although reported by the National Center for Health Statistics as the first annual decrease since 2018, drug overdose deaths still reached 107,543 in the United States. This amounts to a three percent reduction from the 111,029 deaths estimated in 2022. There were 74,202 and 76,226 estimated deaths attributed to synthetic opioids (fentanyl) in 2023 and 2022, respectively. Thus, for 2023, nearly 70 percent of deaths were likened to the presence of synthetic opioids—primarily fentanyl.

But according to Derek Maltz, a former head of the Special Operations Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), this doesn’t tell the whole story. On X this morning, he offered a novel idea, questioning how many American lives have been saved by Narcan® (naloxone). The medicine can be given as a nasal spray or injection to rapidly reverse the potentially deadly effects of opioids, which can often slow or stop breathing of an individual as a result of overdose or fentanyl poisoning.

In the accompanying video to his post, Maltz contends, “Once we get an accounting, we’ll see that it’s not just a hundred thousand dead Americans from fentanyl. It’s hundreds of thousands that are being poisoned all over the country in these mass poisoning events.” He points out, “The government is not providing that data, [because] they’re not asking for the data.”

In an interview with The Gateway Pundit, he asks, “Why can’t we get an accounting of every single person that was saved from Narcan in America?” He says, “All throughout America, emergency response workers, and police officers have issued Narcan to people, but this is never reported and collected for data.”

The number of fentanyl deaths around the country is “mind-blowing,” but Maltz also recognizes that “knowing how many were saved would demonstrate to the American public exactly how widespread and how dangerous these drugs are to the people who take them.”

Because many people across the U.S. have Narcan® kits available to them personally, Maltz admits it would be impossible to determine the most accurate number of how many people are saved using naloxone.

“But for every EMS official, every cop, and every ER doctor that is out there giving Narcan,” he submits, “let’s at least report what we know.” He is not asking for any personally identifiable information that would violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), but the simple statistics of how many have been spared from meeting their death.

“How the hell do you solve a problem if you haven’t even adequately assessed the magnitude of the problem?” he asks, suggesting that elected officials should require these statistics to be collected. “Deaths and record-breaking fentanyl seizures are one thing, but it’s not the full picture,” he argues. Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of others have also taken fentanyl and “cheated death”— and this has never been recorded, according to Maltz.

“The current administration is not going to do it because it would make them look horrible,” he notes. “However, maybe there is a member of the House or Senate, or a state legislator, that would be proactive enough and care enough to require emergency response workers, including all first responders, and emergency room doctors to report not only the number of deaths attributed to fentanyl but also the number of lives saved through the use of Narcan.”

“Until then, this country will never know the true magnitude of how fentanyl is wrecking communities across the United States,” Maltz argues.


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