US Continues to Push Failed Drug Policies: Drs. Singer and Bloom in The Daily Beast

The harder the enforcement, the harder the drug – the iron law of prohibition – is alive and well in the U.S., unlike those who consume increasingly dangerous circulating drugs like xylazine (aka "tranq") and more powerful fentanyl analogs. Drs. Jeff Singer and Josh Bloom explain in an op-ed in The Daily Beast.

Overdose deaths recently reached a record high of 109,000 Americans, with roughly three-quarters involving opioids and 90 percent involving illicit fentanyl. As a result, lawmakers have decided to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic, passing toothless laws that will make little difference in reducing harm.

Drug cartels make illicit fentanyl using several simple, readily available chemicals. As law enforcement cracks down on illicit fentanyl, it merely induces cartels to synthesize more potent analogs of fentanyl, called fentanyl-related substances (FRSs), which can be easier to smuggle in smaller sizes and subdivide into more units to sell. One recent example is para-flourofentanyl, which is increasingly found in combination with or in place of fentanyl.

This is what economists call the iron law of prohibition: the harder the enforcement, the harder the drug.

# Reprinted with permission of The Daily Beast. The opinion piece in its entirety can be read here