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Chinese Official Challenges Opioid Narrative, Says US Should Curb Appetite For Painkillers

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Nick Givas Media And Politics Reporter
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A Chinese drug official believes the United States has to begin curbing its demand for addictive opioids instead of blaming China for flooding its markets with drugs like fentanyl.

China National Narcotics Control Commission member Yu Haibin claimed there was little evidence to suggest that China is connected to the U.S. supply of fentanyl, but didn’t deny the existence of Chinese shipments being made to America, ABC News reports.

“China doesn’t deny that shipments to the U.S. happen, but there isn’t the proof to show how much — whether it’s 20 percent or 80 percent,” he said, according to ABC News. Yu also said the U.S. should do more to share data with China in the global fight against addiction, and cut down on over-prescribing to change their attitude toward opioids.

After President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a national health emergency, he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss placing a “special emphasis” on tackling fentanyl abuse.

“The United States and China also face many challenges within our borders. Every year, drug trafficking destroys millions and millions of lives,” Trump said at a press conference with Xi Jinping in November. “Today, President Xi and I discussed ways we can enhance coordination to better counter the deadly drug trade and to stop the lethal flow of poisonous drugs into our countries. A special emphasis will be placed on the new phenomena: fentanyl — destroying lives by the millions.”

The opioid crisis costs the U.S. an estimated $78.5 billion per year, as opioids account for approximately 70 percent of deadly prescription drug overdoses.

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