DEA Reveals Chinese Companies Directly Linked to Opioid Epidemic

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DEA Administrator Anne Milgram recently spoke out once again, pointing the finger at China for fueling the fentanyl crisis in America. She testified before Congress on National Fentanyl Awareness Day, highlighting the role of Chinese companies in supplying Mexican drug cartels with fentanyl, which then finds its way into the United States.

Ms. Milgram did not mince words, pointing out that Chinese pill and chemical companies, along with money laundering groups, are aiding the influx of this deadly opioid across our southern border. She emphasized that the supply chain starts and ends in China, making it a pivotal point in addressing this crisis.

In her testimony, Ms. Milgram shared alarming statistics. In 2023 alone, the DEA seized nearly 79 million counterfeit pills containing fentanyl and about 12,000 pounds of fentanyl powder. These numbers translate to a staggering 380 million potentially lethal doses. She painted a grim picture, highlighting that the number of Americans dying from opioid overdoses every 11 days surpasses the tragic toll of lives lost in the 9/11 attacks, exceeding 100,000 deaths annually.

It’s a national tragedy, she stressed, noting that every week, 22 American teenagers aged 14 to 18 lose their lives due to opioid overdoses.

This testimony resonated strongly with Republican leaders like Rep. Jake Ellzey from Texas, who called this crisis a “proxy war” waged by China through Mexican cartels. Such candid remarks underscore the severity of the situation and the necessity of robust measures to combat it.

Even amidst this pressing crisis, there are distractions. Ms. Milgram’s silence on the Biden administration’s plans regarding marijuana rescheduling drew attention. While she emphasized the DEA’s efforts to tackle drug trafficking, she declined to comment on the potential rescheduling of marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III under federal law.

This move, initiated by President Biden’s directive, is significant. However, Ms. Milgram cited ongoing administrative processes and the need for public input before the DEA can finalize its stance. Republican voices like Rep. Robert Aderholt expressed concerns about the potential impact of marijuana rescheduling on mental health, pointing to studies linking persistent marijuana use with adverse psychiatric reactions.

Amid these discussions, the core issue remains China’s role in the fentanyl crisis. It’s a stark reminder that while debates on other substances may continue, the urgent battle against opioid abuse demands immediate attention and decisive action.

Now, here’s the reality check. Our government’s priorities should align with protecting American lives, not debating substances. The fentanyl crisis is not just a statistic; it’s a devastating reality affecting families across the nation. It’s time for bipartisan cooperation and swift measures to tackle this crisis head-on, starting with holding China accountable for its role in this deadly game.

While China has been a primary focus in discussions about the opioid epidemic in the USA, other countries have also played a role in this crisis. For instance, India has been highlighted as a significant source of pharmaceutical ingredients used in opioid production. Reports suggest that India’s pharmaceutical industry, while crucial for global healthcare, has faced scrutiny for lax regulations and potential contributions to the opioid supply chain. Additionally, Mexico, beyond being a transit point for drugs, has its opioid crisis, with increasing domestic production of fentanyl contributing to the broader epidemic in North America.

India’s pharmaceutical industry has indeed faced scrutiny regarding its role in the opioid crisis. According to reports by organizations like the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), India is one of the largest producers of pharmaceuticals globally and a significant exporter of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). However, concerns have been raised about the regulation of opioid manufacturing and distribution within the country. A study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy in 2018 highlighted India’s role as a significant source of illicitly diverted opioids, with lax regulations contributing to the diversion of pharmaceutical opioids into illicit markets.

Additionally, Mexico has increasingly become a focal point in discussions surrounding the opioid crisis. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has reported rising levels of fentanyl production in Mexico, with Mexican cartels diversifying their drug portfolios to include synthetic opioids like fentanyl due to its profitability and ease of manufacturing. This domestic production, coupled with Mexico’s role as a transit country for illicit drugs destined for the United States, underscores the country’s significance in the broader opioid epidemic in North America.