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Chinese Fentanyl Mafia Takes Control of U.S.

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CALIFORNIA – January 18, 2019

One person is dead and at least 20 others hospitalized after a mass fentanyl overdose in Chico, California, over the weekend. The victims were mostly millennials, aged 19 to about 30.

The overdose was reported to law enforcement at 9:12 am Saturday morning, CBS/CW+-affiliate KHSL-TV (Action News Now) reported.

Chico Fire Department Division Chief Jesse Alexander told Action News Now on Facebook Live that it was the most significant mass casualty incident he had ever seen.

Police did not provide any details of the deceased individual but said he was an adult male who overdosed and died inside the home.

Two officers who arrived at the scene first were taken to the hospital after reporting symptoms of possible fentanyl exposure. They were treated and released from the hospital, police said.

Chico Police Chief Mike O'Brien gave an update to reporters about the mass casualty incident on Saturday afternoon.

"As tragic as this event is, and certainly there is potential for additional fatalities -- I want to emphasize that -- it certainly would have been far worse without the response and dispensing of Naloxone by Chico police officers, the life-saving efforts of Chico firefighters and Butte EMS and the emergency care of course received by Enloe Hospital staff," O'Brien told reporters.

Now let’s examine fentanyl and see where it comes from.

Fentanyl epidemic in the United States: What you need to know about the killer drug

The "synthetic brother of heroin," fentanyl has been used as an anesthetic for surgery and has played a minor role in the drug crisis for decades. The drug turned mainstream on the black mark in 2014, leading to exploding rates of mortality from its use.

Opioid analgesic fentanyl was synthesized by Belgian scientist Paul Jansen in 1960 and entered into clinical practice as an anesthetic. Fentanyl and other substances of its range, such as carfentanil, remifentanil and sufentanil, enter the second list of narcotic drugs subject to control. Their turnover is allowed only for medical, scientific, expert and veterinary purposes.

Overdose death from fentanyl (red), heroin (green) and prescription opioid painkillers (blue) in the United States, per 100 thousand populations/zerohedge.com

A new report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there were 70,237 drug overdose deaths in 2017. Opioids were involved in 67.8% or 47,600 of those deaths. Of those opioid-related overdose deaths, 59.8% of them, or 28,466, were due to synthetic opioids.

"We were waiting and have been waiting, unfortunately, for this to happen in the sense that we knew fentanyl had been moving west and in other parts of the country they're really seeing the greatest impact of this drug," O'Brien said. "That is changing, unfortunately, and now we've had this mass casualty incident. ... That should concern us all."

In 2014, Chicago, Philadelphia and Maryland sounded the alarm on mass overdoses. There were only 20 fatal overdoses of fentanyl in Chicago. In 2016, there were almost 30 times more (562 deaths). It was the same in Philadelphia, and there were at least 35 deaths in Maryland. By the end of 2014, the drug had caused more than 100 deaths, and by 2016, more than 400.

The worst statistics are in Maryland. The authorities reported 372 deaths from fentanyl only in the first quarter of 2017, which is almost 50 times higher than in the same period of "pre-crisis" 2013.

"Fentanyl added gasoline to the fire, which we've already burned," comments MPH Health Commissioner Thomas Farley. "Now we have the worst crisis that never seen in our life. This will kill more people than the AIDS epidemic. A suitable comparison is perhaps the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918."

According to officials, the overdose epidemic extends to all segments of the population, regardless of gender, race, financial status or social status. The most famous victim was rock musician Prince, who took a lethal dose in April 2016. And one of the most ridiculous cases-- married couple Daniel and Heather Kelsey, who died from an overdose in December 2016. The young parents became famous arter they fell dead on the highway near their car, with their three children aged 8 months to 4 years inside.

Fentanyl economy

There are a few attractive advantages to fentanyl over heroin. It's production doesn't require a field of opium poppies, it's 30-50 times stronger, so its effective dose is 10 times smaller and 10 times cheaper. It can be smoked, swallowed, inhaled through the nose, injected, and rubbed into the skin.

The main manufacturers are in China, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration of the U.S. Department of Justice (DEA). In Chinese port cities, such as Shanghai, fentanyl is produced in thousands of legally operating chemical laboratories, with nothing preventing them from shipping it abroad. China's regulatory authorities turn a blind eye.

Fentanyl comes into the US in small quantities in packages. Since a deadly dose is as small as a dozen grains of sugar, its extremely difficult to detect it in the packages. Large quantities flow in through Mexico through the same channels as other illegal drugs.

It costs about $4,000 to produce 2 lbs. of the substance in China, and in the US, the prices are about the same as for heroin, which is ten times weaker. In Chicago, dealers can purchase 3.75 oz. wholesale for about $9,000. In turn, users usually buy 1g oz of fentanyl from street vendors for $250-$300 or 0.1g for $60.

"A kilogram of fentanyl, divided into small parts and sold in doses, can bring more than $1 million in profit. For comparison, a kilogram of heroin can earn from $50,000 to $100,000. Fentanyl can be delivered much easier than heroin, and drug couriers have begun to take this into account," explains DEA spokesman Rusty Payne.

«WMD»

U.S. government agencies publish a lot of conflicting information about fentanyl, some of which are intimidating, while others calm the population.

"Fentanyl itself is so powerful that simply touching or inhaling a tiny amount of it, the size of grain can immediately cause an overdose... places such as hotel rooms, public toilets, rented cars can contain fentanyl and pose a serious danger to unsuspecting citizens who can accidentally touch or breathe it. Don't touch suspicious substances," the Georgia state police department warns.

10-year-old Alton Banks of Miami, who died on June 23, 2017, is often used as an example of an accidental overdose. He was at the public pool, and when he returned home, he complained of nausea, he vomited, and he lost consciousness, later dying. Doctors found a mixture of fentanyl and heroin in his blood, which local authorities say entered his bloodstream through the skin.

Chinese chemists have invented more than 30 variations of fentanyl, many of which are much more dangerous. For example, one of its analogs -- carfentanil, designed to euthanize elephants, is 100 times more powerful than fentanyl and 5,000 times more powerful than heroin.

The Chinese drug mafia overtakes the U.S. pharmaceutical market

Last year, Greg R. Lawson, an expert from the analytical Wikistrat organization, made an interesting remark, saying that China is against the "US response to the opium war," referring to the "opioid epidemic" and fentanyl’s role in it. Now China is being talked about in the U.S. Congress, and it is much more serious than mere propaganda.

Chinese Fentanyl Mafia Takes Control of U.S.

For the U.S. as well as Canada, the black fentanyl market is a new phenomenon, surfacing in 2014 when the first significant surge of fatal overdoses of this synthetic opioid was recorded. According to last year’s report from the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), 29,406 Americans died of fentanyl overdoses in 2017, accounting for 41% of all overdoses.

It's believed that the bulk of fentanyl coming to the U.S. and Canada comes from China. Bryce Pardo divides the main delivery channels into two main categories:

●       International mail and private delivery services, FedEx, DHL, etc.

●       Drug dealers from Mexico.

Pardo reports that U.S. Customs and Border Guard confiscated in 2013 about 2.20 lbs of fentanyl, and in 2017 1,488.12 lbs (different concentration). If we take into account the purity of the drug, 80% of the fentanyl seizures falls on the mail and delivery services, presumably, parcels from China. In addition, fentanyl is intercepted and in late January, Mexican law enforcement agencies seized a large consignment of drugs, including 45.5 lbs of fentanyl.

Curiously, the fentanyl production in the United States and recipes for it are relatively stable. From the available data, it can be concluded that illegal fentanyl is becoming more popular among Americans, while the interests of manufacturers of prescription opioid painkillers (oxycodone, hydrocodone, etc.) suffer. That is, the Chinese pharmaceutical mafia has overtaken the American pharmaceutical market. It should be noted that the current trade war between the US and China doesn't produce results. No war will interrupt the supply to such a profitable buyer.

In addition, Pardo believes that the production of synthetic opioids in China is not sufficiently controlled and poorly regulated; there is still the problem of unlicensed producers and "semi-legal" factories. The expert recommends the following:

●       Congress can help in efforts to reduce demand for illegal opioids

●       Improve data collection and analysis

●       Cooperate with the Chinese authorities, to promote the fight against corruption and to help with supervision

●       Move towards an agreement with China on the extradition of suspects

●       Increase public access to naloxone (used in opioid overdose).

However, Pardo says nothing about the fight against the lawlessness of pharmaceutical corporations, because they are the main cause of the opioid crisis in the United States. Let's get right to the crux of the matter.

In the late 1990s, pharmacists began to use a "marketing strategy" to convince doctors and patients that opioid analgesics can and should be used in chronic pain. Opioid agents have launched an aggressive propaganda campaign with misinformation, concealment of important facts, bribing doctors, advertising long-term use of opioids and other things. As a result, a strong increase in the issuance of prescriptions began in the U.S., with doctors prescribing opioids even for a headache. Thus, patients became addicted to legal drugs, and then, after the end of the "treatment" course, were forced to go in search of heroin or look for pills to bypass the prescription. Back in 2003, specialists proposed to call this phenomenon "pharmaceutical drug addiction.” Then fentanyl arrived from China.

It's unclear whether the Chinese have a "fentanyl strategy,” but as for the U.S. and Canada, they are doing a good thing. Americans should not suffer, and their demand for drugs should be met with a surplus.

Author: USA Really