Houston Matters

Stoppping fentanyl overdoses — are some Mexican pharmacies part of the problem?

Research shows some pharmacies catering to American tourists are selling medicine frequently laced with the opioid.


Pills laced with fentanyl.


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On Tuesday, NPR reported on new research that found some Mexican pharmacies catering to U.S. tourists are selling medicine frequently laced with fentanyl and methamphetamine.

The research from the UCLA School of Medicine tested legally purchased pharmaceuticals from four cities in northern Mexico.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, sort of like morphine, but much more powerful. It's among the drugs responsible for more than 110 thousand drug overdose deaths last year in the United States.

Pres. Biden's budget request to Congress calls for additional billions of dollars "to address the overdose epidemic driven by fentanyl." Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has identified the fentanyl crisis as an emergency item he'd like state lawmakers to take up this legislative session.

In the audio above, we discuss those efforts with Ken Janda, an adjunct professor at the University of Houston College of Medicine.

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Joshua Zinn

Joshua Zinn

Producer, Houston Matters

Joshua is a producer for Houston Matters on News 88.7 as well as the host of Encore Houston on Houston Public Media Classical. He joined Houston Public Media as a radio intern in 2014 and became a full-time announcer the following year. Now he prepares segments and occasionally records interviews...

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