When my mother was experiencing the end of her life last month, she was in extreme pain and needed fentanyl to ease her suffering. It was difficult to watch her fade in and out of consciousness, but much easier than seeing her in pain. The last few days were the hardest as she would no longer interact with us, only coming out of her stupor to push her self-medication button. At the end, she couldn’t even do that, so the nurse and I did it for her.
That’s properly administered medical fentanyl. It’s an important drug that is abundant, inexpensive, and the most potent of the opioids. It’s synthetic, which makes it especially useful for treating long-term pain; I learned this when my mother’s morphine ran out and a shortage prompted the switch. Morphine supplies are finite. Fentanyl can never run out.
The war on opioids being pushed in the news and by Washington DC is against the illegal use of fentanyl, both the street version as well as prescription abuse, whether by doctors, pharmacists, or criminals exploiting patients. As I learned while my mother was in hospice care, there is a great deal of misinformation regarding the problem that is killing tens of thousands of American per year. It is officially the most lethal drug in or history, both in the number of victims it claims as well as the ease in which people can overdose. 2 milligrams is enough to kill a grown man.
A Tweet hit my feed today that got me thinking.
China Is Using Fentanyl As "Chemical Warfare" Against US, Experts Say https://t.co/QnoU9wkVfG
— Mike 'Thomas Paine' Moore (@Thomas1774Paine) September 9, 2019
Jeff Nyquist, an author and researcher of Chinese and Russian strategy, said China is using fentanyl as a “very effective tool.”
“You could call it a form of chemical warfare,” Nyquist told The Epoch Times. “It opens up a number of opportunities for the penetration of the country, both in terms of laundering money and in terms of blackmail against those who participate in the trade and become corrupt like law enforcement, intelligence, and government officials.”
China also uses the money generated by the importing of fentanyl to effectively “influence political parties,” according to Nyquist.
“It opens doors for Chinese influence operations, Chinese People’s Liberation Army, and intelligence services, so that they can get control of certain parts of the U.S.,” he said.
In August, Trump called out Chinese leader Xi Jinping, accusing him of not doing enough to stop the flow of fentanyl, which enters the United States mostly via international mail.
Fentanyl is a used as a financial boost, a blackmail and corruption tool, and it kills Americans at an alarming rate. The notion that China doesn’t consider this a win-win-win and that they aren’t lying to President Trump when they say they’ll do more to stop the flow is ludicrous. They’re not stopping the flow. This is too important for them.
Ironically, it was smuggling of opium into China in the 18th and 19th century, plus the two Opium Wars, the led to China’s economy getting cut in half. Their people were addicted to the illegal drug and the government could do very little to stop the East India Company from smuggling it in.
Now, it’s the east poisoning the west in similar fashion.
As the Daily Signal detailed in an article earlier this year, the first step is to identify and shut down the routes through which fentanyl is smuggled into America.
A critical step is finding supply routes, with the ultimate goal of stopping the illegal movement of fentanyl into the U.S. from overseas.
First, distributors order fentanyl online and have it shipped here via express consignment or direct mail. Shipping via mail is successful with the help of freight forwarders, multiple transfers of custody, and manipulated information at checkpoints, such as falsified labels on prescription bottles.
The street corner drug rings of old have morphed into hosts of domain names on the internet. Street deals have been replaced by shopping online from the comfort of home. The drug war is drastically shifting with advancing communications technology.
Second, manufacturers ship fentanyl to drug cartels in Mexico, who funnel it over the southern border. Minor amounts of the drug also have been traced to routes that begin in Canada and the Caribbean islands. Fentanyl shipped via international mail is usually 90 percent pure, whereas fentanyl brought over the borders often is diluted with other drugs and only about 10 percent pure.
The People’s Republic of China, the biggest source of the fentanyl problem, is the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter of pharmaceutical ingredients. Perhaps 40 percent of global pharmaceutical output is from China, yet the communist regime has few laws governing controlled substances such as fentanyl.
China’s inadequate regulation of drugs has left room for an estimated 160,000 chemical companies there with the ability to produce and export fentanyl.
The Chinese Communist Party has the power to control production. The U.S. has made mostly unsuccessful attempts to persuade China to address this problem as a supply matter.
There are those who believe the fentanyl epidemic is a made-up problem. But the numbers don’t lie. However, there is far too much fake news and scaremongering going on regarding the proper use of fentanyl. It’s a necessary tool in our healthcare toolbox, but in the wrong hands it’s a killer.
Americans must be educated about the good and bad of fentanyl. We cannot fear it as a useful drug under proper medical care, but we also cannot dismiss smuggling and illegal sales of fentanyl to Americans. The dangers are tremendous.
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