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Substances related to fentanyl, a potent opioid painkiller, have been rampantly abused in some countries, causing many fatalities.
China will join hands with judicial authorities in the United States to curb the smuggling of fentanyl, which is also used as an anesthetic in conjunction with other drugs.
The drug is among a new group of powerful painkillers collectively known as novel psychoactive substances, or NPS. It is considered the strongest opioid available for medical use in humans.
Liu Yuejin, deputy director of China"s National Narcotics Control Commission and a senior official with the Ministry of Public Security, said, "Drugs are a hazard to all humans, and drug control concerns mankind"s future and destiny."
According to the ministry, since 2015, Chinese police have confiscated more than 1,800 kilograms of NPS and over 10 metric tons of raw materials used for producing them.
In 2017, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said deaths involving synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, rose to nearly 30,000, up by more than 9,000 year-on-year. Last year, the abuse of fentanyl resulted in about 20,000 deaths in the US.
Beginning Wednesday, China will list all fentanyl-related substances as controlled narcotics for nonmedical use.
Chen Shifei, deputy director of the National Medical Products Administration, said this measure will play an important role in efficiently preventing the illicit manufacture, smuggling and trafficking of fentanyl-related products and stop large-scale abuse of the drug.
"The crackdown on fentanyl is a major step to guarantee people"s mental and physical health, and is conducive to participating in global drug control and maintaining global security and stability," Liu said.