Under the Dome

Fact check: Heroin became a crisis ‘because we don’t have a wall,’ Ann Coulter says

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, center, chairman of the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, at the beginning of the first meeting June 16, 2017, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House complex in Washington. From left are Dr. Bertha K. Madras, a Harvard Medical School professor who specializes in addiction biology, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Christie, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, and former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, center, chairman of the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, at the beginning of the first meeting June 16, 2017, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House complex in Washington. From left are Dr. Bertha K. Madras, a Harvard Medical School professor who specializes in addiction biology, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Christie, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, and former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy. AP

Leaders in North Carolina and across the country have vowed to help Americans addicted to opioids, a group that has grown exponentially in recent years.

In his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said building a wall might help stem the tide of drugs into the country. While Trump’s speech didn’t linger on the relationship between opioids and Mexico, conservative commenter Ann Coulter attempted to provide some context.

“Good he’s talking about opioid crisis – 100% of heroin/fentanyl epidemic is because we don’t have a WALL,” she tweeted.

For a start, the opioid epidemic isn’t limited to heroin and fentanyl use.

Let’s look past that implication about drug use. Is it true that all heroin and fentanyl enters America through Mexico, as Coulter suggested to her 1.88 million Twitter followers?

Josh Stein, North Carolina’s Democratic attorney general, says no.

“Traffickers predominately bring heroin from Mexico but usually through legal points of entry,” Stein said in a statement. “Drug dealers import illicit fentanyl from China usually by air. To effectively combat the opioid epidemic … there are better investments than a wall.”

To see how Coulter’s claim fared on the Truth-O-Meter, go to PolitiFact.com.

Paul A. Specht: 919-829-4870, @AndySpecht

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