Nov. 7, 2022 – In 2022, it’s mostly Republican congressional candidates who’ve made the drug crisis a focus of their campaigns. But they’re not zeroing in on overdose deaths or a lack of addiction treatment options. Instead, GOP candidates across the country have seized on the influx of the ultra-potent opioid fentanyl, using it to bolster their arguments about law enforcement, crime, and border security.

Fentanyl is a highly powerful synthetic opioid that, in recent years, has permeated the U.S. drug supply, leading to a dramatic rise in overdoses. It’s not just present in heroin, however. In many cases, people have overdosed and even died after consuming the substance entirely by accident, via cocaine or counterfeit opioid pills that most users would never suspect contained fentanyl.

In Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and dozens of other states, Republican candidates for national, statewide, and local office have pledged to stop traffickers from bringing fentanyl into the U.S. by imposing stiffer sentences and providing more funding to law enforcement. In many cases, GOP candidates — including Mehmet Oz, the celebrity doctor running for Senate in Pennsylvania — have attacked their Democratic opponents for supporting drug decriminalization or shorter sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.


[ninja-popup ID=12216]