(NewsNation) — New data released by the Department of Defense shows a sizable increase in troop overdose deaths from fentanyl.
In 2017, fentanyl was involved in 36 percent of U.S. military overdoses. In 2021, 81 percent of deadly overdoses were related to fentanyl. The numbers were revealed after a group of senators asked the Pentagon to release the data.
Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley pointed to the border as one culprit in the increase in deaths. “We need to secure the border and stop the entry of fentanyl across our border into every state and locality across the country.”
The DEA estimates that only 5 to 10 percent of the fentanyl coming into the U.S. is seized.
Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine argued that the federal government could do more to stop the deadly drug from reaching our country. “We have the technological capacity to inspect every vehicle now, but we haven’t yet invested at the level that enables us to do that,” he said.