Fentanyl has become an inexpensive and dangerous replacement to heroin which has ravaged families and communities in New England. New Hampshire and MA rank first and second in per-capita deaths caused by fentanyl, which has surpassed heroin as the leading cause of fatal opioid overdoses in those states.
The drug is manufactured in China and shipped to Mexico where it is packaged and sent to New England cities smuggled in vehicles. Lawrence has become a popular destination for fentanyl trafficking due to its location on interstates 495, 93 and 95, which allow traffickers to easily ship the drug to other towns with a short turnaround.
Opioids killed 2,069 people in MA in 2016 where 69% of those deaths contained fentanyl with the trend unlikely to slow down. A kilogram of fentanyl bought in China for $5,000 could return more than $500,000 sold in New England after other additives such as talcum powder, lactose, and caffeine are added to the opioid mix. The DEA has slowly begun a crack down on the life threatening opioid by opening offices in China and Mexico, in an attempt to limit the amount of fentanyl sent to the U.S., but it may be too late.
Source: The Boston Globe