Governor Greg Abbott on Monday announced the launch of the State of Texas’ coordinated “One Pill Kills” campaign to combat the growing national fentanyl crisis plaguing Texas and the United States. This announcement comes after Governor Abbott directed state agencies to ramp up efforts to combat the deadly fentanyl crisis last month.
Following a roundtable discussion with state and local law enforcement, the Governor was joined by Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw and Beaumont Police Chief James Singletary for a press conference highlighting the severity of the fentanyl crisis and outlined the comprehensive actions taken by the State of Texas to address the unprecedented influx of this deadly drug into communities across the state.
“Fentanyl remains the single deadliest drug threat our state and nation has ever encountered, killing four Texans every day,” said Governor Abbott. “Fentanyl is a clandestine killer, with Mexican drug cartels strategically manufacturing and distributing the drug disguised as painkillers, stimulants, anti-anxiety drugs, and even candy. In the Biden Administration’s negligence to address this national security threat, Texas has designated Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations and is launching a statewide public awareness campaign to fight the fentanyl crisis in our state. I am proud to announce the launch of the State of Texas’ comprehensive ‘One Pill Kills’ campaign to remind Texans that just one pill laced with fentanyl can take someone’s life. Together, we will protect more innocent lives from being lost to this deadly drug.”
Governor Abbott also announced new laws to be considered this upcoming legislative session that would classify fentanyl as a poisoning, allow charging an individual for murder if they distribute fentanyl or drugs laced with fentanyl that kill someone, and make NARCAN more readily available across the state for Texans exposed to fentanyl.
Last year, almost 1,700 Texans lost their lives because of fentanyl. Fentanyl is the number one cause of death in Americans between the ages of 18 and 45. From February 2021 to February 2022, more than 75,000 Americans died as a result of fentanyl-related overdoses. In the past year, Texas law enforcement alone has seized over 342 million lethal doses of fentanyl—enough to kill every man, woman, and child in the United States.
Governor Abbott has taken significant action to secure the border in the wake of the federal government’s inaction. Those actions include:
- Securing $4 billion in funding for Texas’ border security efforts
- Launching Operation Lone Star and deploying thousands of Texas National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers
- Taking aggressive action to secure the border, including busing thousands of migrants to Washington, D.C., New York City, and Chicago
- Arresting and jailing criminals trespassing or committing other state crimes along the southern border
- Issuing an executive order authorizing the Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety to return illegal immigrants to the border at ports of entry
- Allocating resources that include acquiring 1,700 unused steel panels to build the border wall in Texas
- Signing a law to make it easier to prosecute smugglers bringing people into Texas
- Signing 15 laws cracking down on human trafficking in Texas
- Signing a law enhancing penalties for the manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl
- Issuing a disaster declaration for the border crisis
- Issuing an executive order preventing non-governmental entities from transporting illegal immigrants
- Signing memoranda of understanding between the State of Texas and the States of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to enhance border security measures that will prevent illegal immigration from Mexico to Texas
- Activating the Joint Border Security Operations Center (JBSOC) and directing the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Military Department, and Texas Division of Emergency Management to coordinate Texas’ response to secure the border
- Creating DPS strike teams and establishing new vehicle inspection checkpoints targeting semi-trucks and other commercial motor vehicles