US and Mexico Pledge to Bolster Efforts to Combat Deadly Tide of Fentanyl
Anthony Esposito - Reuters
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May 17, 2017

The United States and Mexico Are Gearing Up to Beat the Growing Threat of Fentanyl (Wochit News)

Update: US Secretary of State: The US 'Must Own' Problem of Drug Addiction in Order to Stem Drug Trafficking and Violence (Associated Press)

The United States and Mexico pledged to step up efforts to beat the growing threat of fentanyl, a synthetic opiate up to 50 times more lethal than heroin blamed for the deaths of thousands of people in recent years, including rock star Prince.

A U.N. body in March added to an international list of controlled substances two chemicals used to make fentanyl, which the United States said would help fight a wave of deaths by overdose of the painkiller.

The Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk "is finalizing revisions to the laws that will add these precursors to the list of controlled substances in Mexico. We encourage the rapid approval of these reviews," U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson said in Mexico City on Tuesday as a two-day conference on fentanyl kicked off.

Over 33,000 people died in the United States in 2015 from opioid-related overdoses, including heroin or fentanyl, a 72 percent jump from a year earlier, Jacobson said. Among last year's victims was music superstar Prince, coroners said.

"Current trends indicate that this figure will rise in 2016 and 2017," Jacobson said, underscoring that halting the trade in opioids and other illicit drugs is "a No.1 priority for my government."

During the conference, U.S. and Mexican law enforcement and regulatory agencies will share best practices for the detection, identification, analysis and management of fentanyl with Mexican forensic scientists.

Read the rest at Reuters

Related: Mexico City Increases Aid for Addiction Treatments (The News)

Related: What Is Gray Death? The Killer Drug Cocktail Is Latest Battle in War Against Opioids (Valley News)

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