Sumary of UN agency takes on synthetic drugs:
- 2nd of three partsSEEKING to address a global crisis that has links to Asia, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) last week announced a new initiative against synthetic drugs.
- “This is the time to take evidence-based action to stem the synthetic drug crisis,” UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly said of the agency’s response to a rapidly growing global problem.
- “Young people trying to cope with poverty resort to opioids,” an unnamed healthcare worker from Africa was quoted by the UNODC in a report.
- Waly said the UNDOC’s new strategy would help policymakers introduce effective policies and strategies that can help disrupt the manufacture and trafficking of synthetic drugs.
- Changing precursorsThe UNODC’s new strategy comes five months after China’s State Council added at least six precursor chemicals to its regulated list following mounting international pressure.
- In 2018, an internet search would have identified 100 Chinese firms openly claiming to produce or sell fentanyl, a powerful opioid.
- Based on international news reports, at least 64 Chinese companies were producing or marketing fentanyl or its analogues as of late 2020. Also, many entities that sell synthetic opioids in the open on the internet have been linked to businesses registered in China, home to the world’s largest pharmaceutical industries.
- Chinese vendors are often camouflaged by a complex network of corporate entities.