Congressional Hearings for Victims of Cartel Drugs in the United States

Since 2014 the U.S. has seen an unprecedented 500+% increase in the number of drug related deaths linked directly to the rising cartel presence and cartel illicit narcotics in the United States. Prior to 2014 the number of heroin related deaths in the U.S. remained essentially static at under 4,000 a year. After the cartels began to flood the U.S. with illicit heroin in 2014, we saw a sudden and significant jump in the number of heroin related deaths of over 980% in a single year as reported by the CDC. As citizens continue to die from these illicit narcotics primarily entering the country over the U.S. Mexican border Congress has failed to recognize the surviving families and victims of cartel drugs in the United States and has failed to fully identify the scope of this problem, or to fund and properly secure the border to stop the drug highway supply lines and put an end to these unnecessary deaths.

When news of the "Opioid Epidemic" broke there were numerous legislative actions against prescription opioids however, the illicit substances, which was the main driving factor behind the unprecedented increases in drug related mortality remains unaddressed. U.S. agencies have identified that 91.6% of the heroin is the U.S. is Mexican in origin and more than 80% of the illicit drugs heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine and illicit fentanyl are entering the U.S. via the SW border. Now with the addition of illicit fentanyl into the cartel illicit black markets, drug related mortalities have leapt out of all our past predictive models and are affecting citizens with little to no history of substance abuse at all. Yet some of our legislators continue to resist efforts to shut down the drug highway and enact common sense border security to prevent drug trafficking via the border. In light of the sudden rise in the cartel drug presence in the U.S., the ever increasing number of drug related deaths and those affected by substance abuse, this is unacceptable.

A recent study conducted by Northwestern and Pennsylvania Universities uncovered that the number of drug related deaths is more than double the CDC estimates. Instead of the 63,000 reported deaths more than 142,000 American's died due to drug related causes in 2016 alone. That is 389 drug related deaths every single day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If we follow this model and double the CDC mortality estimates this means that more than 792,000 American lives have been lost to drug related causes in only 7 years. This level of death and community destruction rises above any event from a single cause than we have ever experienced in our entire U.S. history.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services more than 8.7 million children now live in homes where substance abuse is present. Last year in Ohio alone over 14,000 children entered the care of Child Protective Services due to the addiction of or loss of one or both parents due to substance abuse. The mental and emotional trauma suffered by these children can never be fully undone.

We respectfully request that Congress hold hearings to not only acknowledge the innumerable victims and surviving families of illicit narcotics in the U.S. but that Congress also fully investigate and identify the scope of the cartel presence in the U.S., identify the full scope of the illicit drug epidemic in the U.S. and accurately identify the number of drug related mortalities directly associated with cartel driven illicit narcotics. We request that Congress put in place and provide support for the necessary border security and law enforcement mechanisms to stop the drug highway, end the cartel presence in the U.S. and prevent the cartel's illicit narcotics from further harming our communities and families.

We also request that Congress enact policies that will provide care, enact uniform standards within the rehabilitation and treatment industry to insure quality of care and enact legislature that will provide insurance coverage for the after care treatment of those affected and their families.

Countless families and communities have been ravaged by illicit narcotics and the associated criminal activity surrounding the illicit drug trade in the U.S. Failed border and immigration policies, sanctuary cities and the lack of support by our legislators for the law enforcement agencies on the front lines fighting these cartels and illicit narcotics contribute significantly to enabling these cartels to operate with impunity and it must stop. Few if any families in the U.S. remain unaffected in some way by these illicit narcotics, yet Congress has failed to recognize this growing issue, assess the scope of the damage or pass meaningful legislature to stop the decimation of our families and communities due to these criminal organizations and their illicit substances.

This is a tragedy of biblical proportions that involves our legislators, border security, immigration, health and human services and law enforcement yet this unprecedented level of death and human suffering of our citizenship remains unrecognized and unaddressed by our legislators. We the citizens of the United States formally request that our legislators acknowledge this growing problem and start working together to stop these cartels and their illicit narcotics and foster the healing necessary for our families and communities.