(UnitedVoice.com) – The CDC’s preliminary data revealed there were 79,770 reported opioid-related overdose deaths in 2022. That decreased from 80,997 the year before. The high number of opioid deaths is being caused, in part, by a fentanyl crisis. The Democratic Senate majority leader wants to crack down on China.
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is pushing lawmakers to include an amendment to the defense spending bill that would sanction China over its production of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. The lawmaker stated that China is the biggest source of the drug and “the Chinese government does nothing about it.” In fact, the senator said it’s produced at sites in the communist nation “with the total acceptance and acquiescence of the Chinese government.”
The Democrat spoke at a news conference and said that the amendment has bipartisan support, and he believes lawmakers will pass it. It was proposed by Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states that the majority of the fentanyl that is brought into the US is done so through the Southern border. While it travels through Mexico to get here, it’s largely produced in China.
Fentanyl is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and about 100 times more potent than morphine. While it has uses in the pharmaceutical industry, where it’s highly regulated, it’s become an alternative to traditional opioids on the street because it’s cheaper and easier to smuggle into the country. However, because of its potency, people are dying from very small amounts of the drug. The federal government, under multiple administrations, has been unsuccessful in stopping it from spreading across the country.
In addition to the sanctions, the language in the amendment would also declare fentanyl trafficking a national emergency. Schumer explained the point of the proposal was to “get tough” with China and force the government to “clamp down” on the nefarious industry.
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