China Tightens grip over Opioid Carfentanil; makes it a Controlled Substance
China has included carfentanil and three related synthetic opioids in the list of controlled substances, China's National Narcotics Control Commission said on Thursday. The ban will become effective immediately from March 1.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has hailed China's ban on carfentanil and other opioids substances as a major 'game changer' in their fight against drugs consumption and overdose.
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"It's a substantial step in the fight against opioids here in the United States," said Russell Baer, a DEA special agent in Washington. "We're persuaded it will have a definite impact."
Carfentanil is considered 5,000 times stronger than heroin and 10,000 times more powerful than morphine. Owing to its powerful tranquilizing strength, Carfentanil has become one of the most sought after opioids in the world.
Besides Carfentanil, the other opioids substances that have been banned are furanyl fentanyl, acryl fentanyl and valeryl fentanyl.
In October last year, The Associated Press accused that 12 Chinese firms had sealed a lucrative deal to export carfentanil across the globe. Following this report, the Chinese government started evaluating whether to impose a complete ban on Carfentanil and three other fentanyls. Typically, the process of including any drugs under the list of controlled substances takes nine months, but this time it took barely four months.
The U.S has often named China as one of the main sources of fentanyls and other main drugs. However, Chinese government has been unwilling in accepting these allegations. Nonetheless, it has stepped up cooperation with the U.S in a bid to cut the global drugs supply chain.