Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

The ‘Unspoken Pandemic’: Fentanyl Manufacturing Explodes In Mexico, Leading To Overdoses In SoCal

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

The dangerous opioid fentanyl continues to contribute to overdoses in the United States, though where it’s coming from has changed in the past few years.

From 2014 to 2019, 70 to 80% of fentanyl seized by federal authorities came from China, according to a report from the U.S. Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking.

The Chinese manufacturers “relied on the internet to sell their drugs and on the international mail and parcel delivery systems to ship their products to the United States,” the report said.

Since 2019, however, production has shifted to Mexico, where precursors from China and other Asian countries are made into fentanyl, which is then brought by land into the U.S.

“Fentanyl coming from Mexico is often of very low purity—generally, in powder form around or slightly above 10 percent—but now accounts for almost all the fentanyl that law enforcement has seized since late 2019,” the report added.

Meanwhile, SoCal residents are overdosing on this powerful drug, some of them fatally, in what Dr. Thomas Yadegar calls the “unspoken pandemic.”

On Tuesday morning, Yadegar met with a patient at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center who actually stopped breathing as a result of ingesting fentanyl.

“I wasn’t aware of how strong that was, you know?” the patient said.

The patient, whose identity KTLA has concealed, had to be revived with Narcan, which reverses the effects of the opioid, but everyone doesn’t get that chance.

“These drug dealers aren’t trying to kill people. They’re trying to create that perfect high,” said Bill Bodner, special agent in charge of the DEA’s L.A. field office.

As part of that process, dealers are putting fentanyl into fake prescription pills and other drugs, and some people aren’t even aware they’re taking fentanyl, Bodner said.

Authorities seized 3 million counterfeit prescription pills last year, three times as many as 2020, officials said.

The drugs are often manufactured in unregulated labs across the border, where drug cartels use cheap, inexperienced workers to make fentanyl, which is easier to manufacture than cocaine or heroin and is more profitable than any other drug.

“These are drug traffickers, some of them are teenagers, some of them are being forced to do the work, from what our investigators tell us in Mexico,” Bodner said. “It’s an extremely, extremely dangerous environment.”

Alejandro Hope, a Mexican security analyst, said the manufacture of fentanyl is a game-changer for the cartels, and it will likely take work on both sides of the border to curb its growth.

“Just trying to suppress it on the Mexican side of the border is likely to prove futile. You need a more broad-based strategy that also deals with the additional demand in the U.S.,” he said.

In the meantime, doctors in the U.S. are fighting each day to save lives, but Yadegar knows the odds may be against them.

“It’s depressing to know this may just be the tip of the iceberg and we may all have to deal with it more and more over the next year,” he said.

While the patient Yadegar met with on Tuesday has vowed to get clean, the doctor knows he’ll need some luck on his side.

“Hopefully, we’ll never have to see you in the emergency room again,” Yadegar told him.

“Yeah, at least not for that kind of s—,” the patient replied.



  1. It was published in some article that in 2021 90,000 died to overdoses in the USA. Mexico is letting it's cartels thrive and let them ship the drugs to USA. Also AMLO president had put Military to work at the shipyard ports of entry, but the precursor chemicals to make Fent from China, are still coming in. USA needs to sue AMLO.

    1. United States are helping the Cartels by allowing them to sell their products and send weapons and money back to Mexico. United States should stop all the drugs from entering the USA and they should arrest all drug dealers but instead they allowing them to become more successful. Is sad that USA is not doing enough. Everything will be different if USA will stop all the drugs weapons and money but they don’t do it. They want Mexico to do the work for them. Sad.

    2. Drug dealing to addicts should be regulated and owned and operated by the government as a matter of public health and national security, it would save lives and steal all the business from illegal drug traffickers and save lives and millions of dollars on investigations and prosecutions and manpower...

    3. Anon 3:41pm I think the same way when I read comments like the one from Anon 9:05am. Mexican government is not producing the dealing or trafficking drugs. Drugs are produce in Mexico and South America but the bulk of the money and weapons come from USA.

    4. 5:27 we all know the government doesn't make the illegal drugs, it is being said the war on drugs is not being heavily enforced by the government, because they love the bribes, that come in. Ya dig.

    5. OK anon 9:03 am. The Mexican government likes bribe money, but the USA government don’t do that. They are the most honest people in the world and the are the cream of the crop. Then why they don’t stop all the drug distribution in the United States the weapons and money ? What is holding you guys ? I honestly don’t think that the paisas from Mexico are smarter that you guys. You guys are the shit. Your technology and education is way higher that the paisas from Mexico. You guys are almost like Jesus Christ.

  2. 9:05 AMLO eats street food and travels first class in public transportation, has no need for drug money at all.
    But FECAL, EPN, SALINAS, who did not need any kickbacks ate select cuts of CHORIZO and had their own billion dollar presidential plane, trafficked influence and dollars with the US government and their drug trafficking dealers...sue them, or sue the US Lawmakers that got bought with cuban cigars and what appeared to be appeasement from their friends on the now extreme right of the aisle and voted to legalize "pain medicines" inspite of knowing they were addictive, of course, a few hundreds of thousand of dollars in political contributions helped, Big Pharma US reaped Billions on their investment and I am sure are reaping a bundle on Narcan while thebhypoceites blame the addicts and "the mexicans", whaddafack.

    1. Lol no need for drug bribe money. Then how in the hell, did he buy his son a multi million dollar home in Texas, and expensive Mercedes Benz SUV? Sir don't tell me he has a big yearly salary being president.
      He was upset it leaked the news.

    2. 1056...True True. The Sackler family is to thank for a majority of this BS.

    3. 11:18 ALMO'S SON RESIDENCE does not worry me as much as Salinas de Gortari buying a vice presidency with Dow Jones for 10 billion dollars, or FECAL and EPN getting 18 billion dollars from the US government to promote the US invented War ON Drugs that has done nothing but fuck up everything and everybody in México and the US without any accountability whatsoever, solve that and I promise y li u ca bvb have a bigger residence than ALMO'S SON...

    4. 🇺🇸 has been using the "Blame the Mexicans" for decades and it works so they will just keep promoting that BS
      They use it in every presidential campaign and all the governors from South West do the same thing but nothing ever changes.

  3. ALMO wakes up at 5am to solve problem of violence against women.

    I love ALAMO (no gay)

  4. Fentyel kills Lopez Obrador s fault.


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