More information has recently surfaced about Carfentanil, a drug that is responsible for a rash of overdoses in the U.S., namely Ohio cities. The chemical, which is considered a “cousin” to fentanyl, is one of the most powerful and potent synthetic opioids in circulation. Known to be 10,000 times more potent than morphine, it only takes a 10 mg dose to sedate an 11,000 lb. elephant.
In a previous article, we told you of the drug’s capacity to inflict harm. In July of this year, 236 individuals in Akron, Ohio suffered from a drug overdose, believed to be linked to Carfentanil, 20 of which were fatal. In late August, Hamilton County, Ohio was also hit especially hard by drug. 96 overdoses occurred, 3 of those were fatal. Western Pennsylvania had a rash of overdoses as well, which they believed were related to Carfentanil, totaling 200. Of those, 20 died.
Long before Carfentanil was being laced with heroin and other drugs, it was being tested by countries such as the U.S., U.K., China, Czech Republic, Russia and Israel, as a chemical weapon. In 2002, Russian Special Forces used Carfentanil in a 3-day hostage situation. Spraying an aerosol version through air ducts, the drug left everyone unconscious. While they consider the strategy to be successful, 120 hostages died from the effects of the drug.
Andrew Weber, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs from 2009 to 2014, said “It’s a weapon. Companies shouldn’t be just sending it to anybody. We are also concerned that groups like ISIS could order it commercially.”
Although it is banned from the battlefield under the Chemical Weapons Convention, it is still legal for Chinese businesses to sell over the internet, which they are more than willing to do. An Associated Press investigation found that 12 Chinese companies are able to and have exported Carfentanil to the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. for just $2,750 per kg.
While China has already regulated and banned Fentanyl and 18 other chemically similar compounds, as well as 116 additional synthetic drugs for production and distribution, Carfentanil is not on that list. When the Associated Press contacted several Chinese vendors, many of them said they would be willing to export the chemical to our country, going one step further, they even suggested that the customer use the Express Mail Service (EMS) of a state-owned China Postal Express & Logistics Co., because it is safer than other alternatives.
One of those chemicals, acetylfentanyl, a less potent version of Carfentanil, has dropped in seizures throughout the U.S. by 60%, since the ban. According to the Associated Press, a saleswoman from Jilin Tely Import & Export Co. offered Carfentanil for sale through an email, but would not ship acetylfentanyl, because it “is regulated by the government now.” So, as we (America) fight to keep new synthetic drugs out of our country, China finds new ways to send them in.
One of the primary issues is with the ability to control these drugs. As the government continues to research, regulate and control a multitude of chemicals, manufacturers find new ways to supply them. Whether it be changing the chemical make up by a compound or two, or exploring new options entirely, such as Carfentanil, Chinese companies continue to poison our country and several others. The U.S. government is pressuring China to blacklist Carfentanil, but has yet to hear a response from Beijing.
During a chemicals industry conference in Shanghai, Xu Liqun said that although she believes China should ban the drug and understands the dangers, her company, Hangzhou Reward Technology, would produce and distribute Carfentanil. She noted “It’s dangerous, dangerous, but if we send 1kg, 2 kg, it’s OK. The government should impose very serious limits, but in reality in China it’s so difficult to control because if I produce one or two kilograms, how will anyone know? They cannot control you, so many products, so many labs.”
These companies are fully aware of the dangers, yet they continue to ship these chemicals into our countries; to our families; to our children. The same chemicals that our government fears ISIS can get their hands on. In anticipation of new regulations, Wonder Synthesis, another Chinese company, said in an email, “If you need any chems, just hurry to buy.” As they laugh it off, even boast about it, we continue to bury our loved ones…and all for what…A buck?
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If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, don’t wait until it’s too late. With the several new compounds and chemicals found in better-known drugs, such as heroin and cocaine today, you never really know what you are using. Your next time can be your last time!
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