Earlier this month, at the urging of the U.S., China banned four synthetic opioids that had been widely available over the internet. The move was aimed at stemming the flow of drugs to the U.S. and helping combat America’s deadly opioid crisis.
CGTN’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports.
Stronger versions of fentanyl added to China's controlled substance listEarlier this month, at the urging of the U.S., China banned four synthetic opioids that had been widely available over the internet. The move was aimed at stemming the flow of drugs to the U.S. and helping combat America's deadly opioid crisis. CGTN's Hendrik Sybrandy reports from Denver.
According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, 52,000 Americans are dying a year from drug overdoses. Roughly 10,000 of them from synthetic opioids like fentanyl, a cheap and potent drug often used as a heroin substitute that’s helped fuel the opioid epidemic in the U.S.
“I think there’s enough of a problem that’s been created over the last 20 to 30 years that if you will the chickens are coming home to roost,” Rob Valuck, a professor at the University of Colorado’s Dept. of Clinical Pharmacy said.
Opioid abuse is a global problem. Although Americans are by far the largest consumers of painkillers, countries like China, which have large chemical industries, provide a good deal of the supply.
“A small part of that perhaps and rogue evil scientists in China and elsewhere are involved in manufacturing fentanyl. They are preying upon America’s addiction problem,” Russ Baer, spokesperson for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said.
Rob Valuck of the University of Colorado said cutting the supply of powerful opioids is just one element of a comprehensive strategy that should target their over-use as well.
“I think that we need to be applying all levers that we can because the problem is so big,” Valuck said.