China’s drug control agency has challenged the United States to reduce its demand for opioids, including fentanyl. The Chinese agency specifically said that the United States has a role in driving demand for powerful opioid drugs.
Not only did the Deputy Chair of China’s National Narcotics Control Commission say that it is common knowledge that the United States and Europe have been designing psychoactive substances in laboratories, he said that the United States should adopt a comprehensive strategy to reduce the demand of fentanyl and other powerful drugs.
The United States doesn’t deny these truths. Yet the country isn’t the only producer of fentanyl. Congress came out with a report in 2017 that singled out China as the top source of all of the fentanyl inside the United States. After a year of research, Congress determined that fentanyl could be easily purchased online from Chinese labs and mailed to the U.S.
When fentanyl was first approved in 1960, it was intended to treat extreme cases of pain and help surgical patients sleep. It is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.
Fentanyl killed 5,000 people in the U.S. in 2014 alone. By September of 2017, it had killed more than 26,000 people. Fentanyl accounts for more than half of all opioid-related deaths that year.
China also doesn’t deny that some of the drugs were manufactured in their country. They are instead making the case that the drug is not readily abused and trafficked in China itself. Due to their harsh drug laws, they are most likely telling the truth.
The Chinese government says it has already taken steps to address the production and export of fentanyl and other synthetic drugs, including placing fentanyl and 22 other compounds on a controlled substances list.
The Deputy Chair of China’s Control Commission also said that political tensions would not affect their willingness to collaborate on putting an end to the trafficking.