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Written Testimony on the Fentanyl Crisis and Illicit Flows to the House Financial Services Committee

Dr. John P. Sullivan and Dr. Robert J. Bunker Supporting Hearing Entitled: Follow the Money: The CCP’s Business Model Fueling the Fentanyl Crisis

Thursday, March 23, 2023 10:00 AM in 2128 RHOB Subcommittee on National Security, Illicit Finance, and International Financial Institutions

The Fentanyl Crisis presents a multifaceted problem to the United States, including threats to public health, community stability, and national security. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be obtained through legal sources or produced illicitly by criminal enterprises. In 2021, over 106,000 people in the US died from drug overdose, with fentanyl and similar synthetic opioids the most prevalent cause of death. From 2015 to 2021, overdose related deaths rose 7.5 fold.[1] Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are now a significant component of the US drug abuse problem and, according to a 2019 RAND report, supplier decisions drive the spread of synthetic opioids not user demand, “Synthetic opioids are largely a strategic device for dealers seeking to lower costs or skirt drug laws, not a newly popular drug among users.”[2] The issues related to supply are complex and transnational. The Illicit flows that sustain the synthetic opioid trade are transnational in nature and not only drive deaths among users but fuel violence and corruption in production and transport countries such as Mexico.[3]

Testimony House Financial Services
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