US Launches Global Effort to Combat Fentanyl Crisis

As the world continues to face a growing threat of transnational crime and illicit synthetic drugs such as fentanyl, the Biden-Harris administration has launched a global initiative to convene 72 judicial, law enforcement, and security officials to share solutions to this shared global challenge. The United States Department of State’s Toward a More Safe and Secure World (TMSSW) International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) aims to focus on transnational threats to international peace and security, including terrorism, trafficking of persons and narcotics, border insecurity, corruption, cyber warfare, and the impacts from climate change.

The three-week exchange program began in Washington, D.C. with plenary sessions featuring top public and private sector security experts from countries that include Botswana, Ecuador, Morocco, Norway, and Thailand. The participants will then travel to Tampa, FL, for a workshop on multijurisdictional task forces with interagency stakeholders from Florida’s regional Fusion Center. They will also visit various cities across the United States, including Austin, TX; Cleveland, OH; Huntsville, AL; Phoenix and Tucson, AZ; Reno, NV; Sacramento and San Diego, CA; and Salt Lake City, UT, to understand the public safety and security issues from state and local law enforcement officials, public officials, and social service and victim assistance providers.

The objectives of the program are to create a shared understanding of the fentanyl crisis and its effects on public health and safety, explore solutions towards disrupting transnational drug trafficking organizations, and develop strategies and tools to enhance national and international cooperation in targeting transnational criminal networks.

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The Institute of International Education is the implementing partner for this IVLP. For inquiries, please contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at ECA-Press@state.gov. Let us follow the #GlobalSecurity and #TMSSW on social media for updates.

Combatting the Fentanyl Crisis

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is approximately 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It can be produced illicitly, and illicitly manufactured fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine, and sold on the black market. According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), fentanyl and its analogs are the main driver of the deadliest overdose crisis in American history.

The DEA has reported that there were more than 90,000 lethal overdoses recorded in the United States from overdoses in the year that ended last September. It is the highest toll ever recorded, with fentanyl and its analogs being involved in over 60% of those overdose deaths. In addition to the United States, countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and Mexico have all witnessed increased fentanyl-related overdose deaths in recent years.

Combating Transnational Crime

Transnational crime is a growing problem that affects countries around the world. The trafficking of drugs, weapons, and people are common in transnational crime networks, and the consequences of these activities can be severe. They include increased violent crime, corruption, and health problems, among other issues.

The United States is committed to combatting transnational crime and is working with countries around the world to disrupt these networks. The TMSSW International Visitor Leadership Program is one way that the U.S. Department of State is pursuing these efforts.

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Conclusion

The United States has launched a global effort to combat the fentanyl crisis through the TMSSW International Visitor Leadership Program. The participants, including representatives from Botswana, Ecuador, Morocco, Norway, and Thailand, will collaborate to share solutions to the shared global challenge.

The program aims to create a shared understanding of the fentanyl crisis, disrupt transnational drug trafficking organizations, and develop strategies and tools to enhance national and international cooperation in targeting transnational criminal networks. The Institute of International Education is the implementing partner for this initiative.

Transnational crime is a growing challenge, and the U.S. Department of State is committed to working with countries around the world to combat transnational crime and improve public health and safety. Let us follow this global initiative and its impact on communities worldwide.