“We are very worried,” said the head of United States Regional Security in Uruguay about fentanyl, a drug that causes major problems in the United States and which, he said, is being studied closely whether or not it circulates in Uruguay. In an interview with The Observer, Margalit Murray emphasized that she regularly questions the Uruguayan police and security agencies about the appearance of fentanyl in the country.
“We often ask if fentanyl is found here. Fortunately, we have not received a positive response, but we have the responsibility to share what is happening in the United States in Uruguay to prevent it from coming,” he assured. He said that, as far as he knows, in Uruguay there was only one LSD raid in 2017, but in Argentina there will be a seizure of fentanyl in 2022 and in 2023, after a case in which there were 24 unrelated deaths.
Fentanyl is 100 times more powerful than morphine and 50 times more powerful than heroin, and with a small amount of the chemical, you can make hundreds of pills. It is used as a pain reliever in hospitals, but, as a medicine, it is mixed with baking soda, cocaine, heroin, or LSD to make it stronger, which poses a great risk and threat because “drug traffickers do not measure the per-quantity (of the mixture), but they mix, and it is very easy for the doses to be too much for a person,” said Margalit Murray.
In the United States, 110,000 people will die from the effects of drugs in 2022, and most of them from the use of synthetic drugs, especially fentanyl, he said with concern. “We take this problem seriously, and for us, it is a matter of time (for it to come) because of circulation. Hence the importance of training, prevention, and building awareness about medicine,” said Murray.
In August of this year, DEA officials went to Uruguay to conduct a training and prevention activity on fentanyl threats. Officials from the Ministry of Public Health, National Drug Board, Prosecutor’s Office, Police, Customs, and Justice actors participated in the training.