A Chinese official said the U.S. should do more to cut its domestic demand for opioids – to then prevent the use of synthetic drug fentanyl. The Chinese agency promised to increase pressure on Chinese production of the substance after a U.S. Senate investigation earlier this year pointed fingers at China for increasing the opioid crisis across much of the country.
“It’s common knowledge that most new psychoactive substances (NPS) have been designed in laboratories in the United States and Europe, and their deep-processing and consumption also mostly take place there,” said Liu Yuejin, deputy chief of China’s National Narcotics Control Commission, during a press conference with reporters on Monday.
“The US should adopt a comprehensive and balanced strategy to reduce and suppress the huge demand in the country for fentanyl and other similar drugs as soon as possible,” said Liu, whose criticism against the U.S. coincided with the release of China’s annual drug situation report.
“When fewer and fewer Americans use fentanyl, there would be no market for it.”
U.S. President Donald Trump told Beijing officials in November that China and the United States need to be more proactive in stopping the “flood of cheap and deadly” fentanyl “manufactured in China” from entering North America.
Earlier this year, Senate investigators found that Chinese sellers, who marketed synthetic drug fentanyl to American buyers, are using the U.S. postal system to flood the deadly drug into the States. The report said Chinese sellers are taking advantage of a failing postal service that has yet to fully implement electronic data systems to assist authorities in identifying suspicious shipments.
Responding to a CNN question on China’s future policies to prevent the further inflow of synthetic drug fentanyl into North America, Liu detailed a list of domestic policies that he said Washington should adopt first, ranging from drug-prevention programs to better treatment for abusers.
“The US should strengthen its crackdown on distributors, traffickers and drug-related criminal rings,” he added. “It should investigate and arrest more lawbreakers.”
Liu told reporters that China accepts that some of the fentanyl is manufactured in China and sold in the U.S. However, the substance is not abused and trafficked in China like it is in the West, he added.
Liu also stressed the current tensions in the bilateral relationship and other political factors with the U.S. would not influence China’s broad push to resolve synthetic opioids flowing to the West.
In China’s annual drug report released Monday, the threat of fast-emerging new drugs bought and sold on the internet has alarmed officials. The number of drug abusers in China rose 2 percent in 2017 to 2.55 million, but the growth rate declined. The use of synthetic opioids accounted for the majority of the cases.
China seems to have a grip on its drug problem, but that is not the case in the U.S. Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths has quadrupled. In the last 15 years, more than half a million Americans died of drug overdoses, with opioids accounting for a majority.
In 2016 alone, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered that more than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016, that is more than all of the U.S. troops that died in the Vietnam war.
We find it odd that the Trump administration and Senate investigators are diverting the attention of blame to the Chinese. Our government has turned a blind eye to the Sackler family through their family-owned drug company called Purdue Pharma, which has generated some thirty-five billion dollars in revenue from flooding America with opioids since 1995. This paragraph alone underlines how America is doomed.
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