Fentanyl: The New Face of America’s War on Poverty


At a recent news conference, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) chief Anne Milgram identified four Mexican men known as “Los Chapitos” as responsible for the influx of synthetic opioid fentanyl into the United States. However, it is important to note that the opioid crisis in the US is not solely due to the actions of these individuals. The over-prescription of legal painkillers has contributed significantly to the crisis, with many people becoming addicted to opioids before turning to heroin or fentanyl. The pharmaceutical industry and pharmacy chains have been held accountable for their role in fueling the crisis, but there has been little admission of wrongdoing or systemic change. The opioid crisis has disproportionately affected poor communities, highlighting the intersection of socioeconomic and racial oppression. Harsher sentencing for fentanyl possession and dealing may benefit the prison-industrial complex, but it does not address the root causes of the crisis. Ultimately, capitalism remains a deadly drug and a euphemism for the US’s war on the poor.