by Gary Chapin
While overwhelming numbers of migrants are flooding across the US-Mexico border from all over the world, and we are witnessing the worse drug crisis in American history, our government has no plan. We don’t know who is coming into our country, and the drug cartels are making billions of dollars, bringing thousands of pounds of Fentanyl into every city and town in America. Because our government in Washington, DC, has failed to take action, our nation faces not only a national crisis of fentanyl overdose deaths but also a humanitarian catastrophe on our southern border. Fentanyl is manufactured in China. It’s a synthetic opioid 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 more powerful than heroin. Overdose deaths from Fentanyl poisoning in Maine have increased at an alarming rate. According to monthly reports released by the Maine Office of the Attorney General and the Office of Behavioral Health, Maine set a record for overdose deaths last year, with over 630 people dying, nearly two deaths a day. And, so far this year, the number of drug overdose deaths in Maine has increased during the first eight months of 2022 over the same period in 2021. Moreover, the U.S. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) reported that Fentanyl is now the #1 cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 45. And that overdose deaths in the United States exceeded 100,000 in 12 months for the first time. There are national estimates that about 300 Americans die each day from Fentanyl poisoning. How awful do the fatal overdose reports need to get before the United States is willing to close the border with Mexico and impose strict tariffs on China? Has the leadership in Washington, DC, lost its way? Is the acquisition of wealth and the lust for political power, at any cost, more important to politicians in Washington, DC, than the safety and well-being of American citizens? People worldwide want to come to America because they know they will have the opportunity to prosper and live the American dream. No other country in the world has lifted more people out of poverty than our country. But without border security and intelligent leadership, our country and the safety and well-being of Americans are at risk. After working in the human services field for decades in child protection and addiction recovery, I must say that even during times of prosperity, our country’s efforts to develop effective human services were not well conceived, such as the closing of state psychiatric hospitals that began in the 1960s. So today, we see thousands of Americans needing treatment for mental illnesses, barely able to care for themselves, living on the street, or incarcerated. That said, I can’t stop thinking about where the caravans of migrants will sleep. How can we afford to provide them with welfare, food, medicine, and education? Has the American dream become a political nightmare that will destroy our economy and America as we know it? I can’t help but feel angry and betrayed by our government when I see photographs of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers being overwhelmed by caravans of migrants. Is our national security at risk? Has our government lost its mind? Or, is our government’s failure to take action on our southern border purposeful? What can Americans do to keep our great nation from being changed forever? Will the country we love dearly, the land of the free and home of the brave, never be the same again?