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Dear Editor: The unlawful use and distribution of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, pose major threats to the health and safety of Americans. Combatting the threats posed by illicitly manufactured and unregulated fentanyl must be a top priority.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has stated that fentanyl is “the deadliest drug threat facing this country.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has informed the public about an increase in fentanyl overdose deaths. According to the state’s health agency, the number of fentanyl overdose deaths in Wisconsin rose from 651 in 2019 to 1,280 in 2021 — an increase of 97%. Reportedly, there has also been a rise in drug overdoses in Dane County.

Public officials in Waukesha County recently declared fentanyl a community health crisis. Washington County is also taking steps to address the threat of fentanyl.

I believe it is time for Dane County officials and local law enforcement agencies to declare fentanyl a community health crisis. The county must direct its resources towards fighting the illegal use of this drug.

Tawsif Anam


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