Mike Andrews Calls on U.S. Government to Amp Up Fight Against Fentanyl​

February 18, 2022

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In a Feb. 14, 2022, op-ed in the Washington Times, McGuireWoods Consulting senior vice president Mike Andrews called on the U.S. government to modify its approach to the nation’s fentanyl crisis.

Mike and co-author Uttam Dhillon, former acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), noted that fentanyl is now the leading cause of death — more deadly than COVID-19 — for adults between the ages of 18 and 45 in the United States.

“If this trend continues, in the next 36 months, we will lose approximately a quarter of a million Americans to fentanyl,” they wrote. “It will be like losing the entire population of Spokane, Washington, or Laredo, Texas, or St. Petersburg, Florida, to overdose deaths.”

Noting that fentanyl has been transported into the country from Mexico, which receives key precursor chemicals from China, the article outlined four steps the United States must take to fight the spread of the drug:

  1. Demand that China and Mexico stop the illicit movement of fentanyl precursor chemicals.
  2. Demand that Mexico rescind legislation that prevents the DEA from working with Mexican law enforcement.
  3. Secure the southern border of the United States.
  4. Pass legislation to increase criminal penalties for fentanyl trafficking.

“The success of this plan is possible. For example, in 2018, due to the aggressive anti-drug policies of the previous administration, drug overdose deaths declined for the first time in decades; now, it’s exploding,” the authors wrote. “Only by applying the same energy and focus as we have attacking COVID-19 can we reverse this deadly trend. The lives of tens of thousands of Americans depend on it.”