China denies claims it fueled US opioid epidemic

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On June 25, a high-ranking official in China's drug control agency responded to accusations of Chinese suppliers fueling the U.S. opioid epidemic, according to CNN.

"It's common knowledge that most new psychoactive substances (NPS) have been designed in laboratories in the United States and Europe, and their deep-processing and consumption also mostly take place there," said Liu Yuejin, deputy chief of China's National Narcotics Control Commission, during a press conference.

In China, NPS includes designer drugs such as fentanyl. Fentanyl is a cheaper synthetic opioid roughly 50 times stronger than heroin and is increasing in popularity in the U.S.

In 2017, a congressional report flagged China as the primary source of fentanyl in the U.S.

In response, Mr. Liu cited the list of measures he claimed U.S. authorities should adopt for further intensified drug prevention and better assistance for drug users.

"The US should strengthen its crackdown on distributors, traffickers and drug-related criminal rings," he told CNN. "It should investigate and arrest more lawbreakers."

The CDC reported 64,000 people died in 2016 due to opioid overdoses.

"When it comes to a matter of principle such as the international cooperation on narcotics control, we won't let it be affected or disrupted by other political and economic factors," Mr. Liu told CNN. "We hope other countries, including the United States, would do the same thing."

More articles on opioids: 

Sculptor places 700-pound heroin spoon outside Purdue Pharma headquarters
Study: Some common drugs may make opioid overdoses 5 times more likely
Schumacher Clinical Partners addresses opioid epidemic

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