Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday accused Washington’s "open border policies" of directly contributing to the rise in fentanyl deaths in his state and across the country.
Abbott appeared at the Texas Department of Public Safety’s drug warehouse and crime lab in the Houston area, where he and other officials spoke on the growing fentanyl crisis.
"It’s because of Washington’s open border policies that deadly fentanyl is flooding (into) into the United States," Abbott said. "Fentanyl does not derive from Texas or from the United States. It comes across the border from Mexico and it’s killing Texans. And it's getting worse."
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is behind a massive spike in overdose deaths across the U.S. in recent years. Just a 2 mg dose is enough to kill a user, whereas 60 mg of heroin is considered a lethal dose.
Authorities say many victims are unknowingly consuming fentanyl in counterfeit tablets made to look like oxycodone, hydrocodone, or Xanax.
Gov. Abbott appealed to parents to be more proactive in helping fight the plague of fentanyl by educating their children.
"Your kids are going to parties, and at those parties, pills are being traded and used. And what you don’t know, and what your child does not know, is whether or not a pill that they’re given at that party is laced with deadly fentanyl," Abbott said. "It’s so important that as parents, you play a role in making sure that you educate your children about the deadliness of fentanyl."
Discussing his administration’s plans to crackdown on pushers, Abbott was joined by Senator Paul Bettencourt, Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson, Houston Police Department Narcotics Commander Bryan Bennett, and DPS Seized Drug System Trainer Jennifer Hatch, among others.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has long traced the origins of fentanyl coming to the United States to China, where the drug or the precursor chemicals are used to manufacture it start, and then usually enter the country by way of the U.S-Mexico border.