American President has repeatedly lashed out at China for failing to restrict the export of illegal fentanyl to the United States.
The potent painkiller is the main synthetic opioid available in the United States, a class of drug which was responsible for overdose deaths of almost 32,000 people last year.
The question arises that why is the threat of fentanyl growing, & can Beijing help America cure its addiction to its fatal drug?
In 1959, Fentanyl was first developed and introduced to the market of the United States in the 1960s as an intravenous anesthetic.
A hundred times stronger than morphine, it is used for managing severe pain, for example amongst cancer patients or those who are receiving end-of-life care.
However, there is also illegal production and trafficking of it into the United States primarily from Mexico and China, in the form of tablets or powder, and sometimes gets mixed with cocaine and heroin.
Why is it spreading? It was revealed by a report published in December by researchers at University of California San Francisco that fentanyl use has surged in recent years because of heroin and prescription pill shortages and because it was economical than heroin for drug wholesalers to produce.
A UCSF researcher, Sarah Mars stated that very little drug slang has developed for describing fentanyl, which provides support to the notion that this is not a demand-driven epidemic.
Commonly the users are not even aware of the fact that the products they are consuming contains the drug, & a crucial market is people who turn to counterfeit medicines because of cost reasons.
According to a report by the Drug Enforcement Agency, Traffickers are exploiting high consumer demand for illicit prescription tranquilizers, painkillers, and sedatives by producing cheap counterfeits containing fentanyl.