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DHS projects fentanyl as biggest national threat in 2024

The security agency claims that the opioid is more deadly than terrorism and warns of the dramatic crisis on the southern border.


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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) predicts that, next year, fentanyl will be one of the main threats to the stability of the country and will continue to cause more deaths than terrorism.

The new 2024 Homeland Threat Assessment (HTA) report stated that, while terrorists remain an "enduring" threat to national security, "drugs kill and harm far more people in the United States annually":

While terrorists pose an enduring threat to the Homeland, drugs kill and harm far more people in the United States annually. The increased supply of fentanyl and variations in its production during the last year have increased the lethality of an already deadly drug, a trend likely to persist in 2024 ... Given this trend, we expect fentanyl to remain the leading cause of narcotics-related deaths in the United States.

Homeland-threat-assessment-2024 by Veronica Silveri on Scribd

Drugs coming through the southern border

The DHS report highlights the border crisis. The department warns that the large quantities of fentanyl seized at the southern border may break a record this year:

Seizures of fentanyl at our southern border continue to increase throughout 2023 with CBP on track to seize a record amount of fentanyl entering the United States.

In addition, the report points out that "Traffickers in Mexico and the United States are using various additives, such as xylazine, and mixing fentanyl into counterfeit prescription pills, which are driving an increase in overdoses" and that this "illegal narcotics trade also harms our communities by supporting violent criminal enterprises, money laundering, and corruption that undermines the rule of law."

DHS added that "Fentanyl has appeared more frequently in counterfeit prescription pills, such as Adderall and Xanax, combinations that raise the risk of overdose, particularly for unwitting users. Traffickers are also bulking fentanyl powder and pills with the animal sedative xylazine ("Tranq"), challenging standard opioid overdose treatments".