Fentanyl crisis hits Baja California: the number of consumers grows by 55% in 2023

Red Cross paramedic treats a person who has overdosed. (darkroom)

Hundreds of children from Tijuana, Baja Californiathey put aside their school supplies to pay attention to the talks of the Municipal Institute Against Addictions (Imcad) regarding the danger represented by drug consumption, especially fentanyla substance that last year led more than 300 people to consume it in the entity.

According to information from the Forensic Medical Service (Semefo) and the Youth Integration Centers (CIJ), throughout 2022 they attended to 638 people who sought help to combat their addiction to fentanyl use.

That figure increased between 45 and 55 percent last yearas reported by Luz Vianey Robles Hernández, director of Imcad, who stressed that close to 70 percent of consumers are people in street situations; In addition to specifying that the figures in their possession do not represent the real problem of opioid addicts, since there are a large number of people who do not go to support centers.

“The use of fentanyl has increased, more in men than in women, but it goes hand in hand with methamphetamine since it can be mixed or (there is) the situation that users do not know what they are consuming; This implies more complexity in the treatment,” he indicated.

In this context, Imcad personnel went to the schools of Tijuana to alert adolescents about the risks of consuming drugs, especially those that are contaminated with toxic substances and that can cause death with just one dose.

Fentanyl has unleashed a public health crisis in the United States, a situation that they fear will be repeated in Mexico (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

In July 2022, a young man was poisoned with fentanyl to four minors and an adult with whom he was meeting in a building in the Río Vista neighborhood, in Tijuana: they needed to be treated by paramedics from the Mexican Red Cross; He was arrested and more than a year later linked to process.

When they arrested the person responsible, they found him 954 milligrams of fentanylwhich is why the headquarters of the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) in Baja California, requested from the Specialized Court for Minors the order to link the young man from the border city to proceedings.

The resolution of the Specialized Control Judge was presented until January 24 with the link to the process of the person responsible for committing crimes against health, For this reason, hospitalization in a rehabilitation center was set as a precautionary measure and a period of two months was set for the closure of the complementary investigation.

Demand for the synthetic opioid was concentrated in northern Mexico (Screenshot)

Just last January 18, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel seized more than 3.5 kilograms of fentanyl with a value of 11,500 dollars at the border port of San Ysidro, one of the crossings most used by Mexican cartels to flood with the so-called “zombie drug” the streets of California.

Although most of the drugs that cross the border are shipped in shipments that evade the surveillance systems of Mexico and the United States, in recent months more cases of “blind mules” who cross daily into the American Union to work, shop or for education purposes.

The Tijuana authorities have routinely alerted the population across borders of the danger of being used to send drugs to the United States without their knowledge; Only on January 15, CBP officers detected 40 thousand dollars in fentanyl and methamphetamine tied to the chassis of two vehicles that intended to cross into San Diego, California, through the San Ysidro checkpoint. Both drivers were detained while it was investigated whether or not they were “blind mules.”

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