An improper fentanyl crisis in the same range as the US would be very harmful in Asia, according to the United Nations on Drugs and Crime’s official in Southeast Asia, Jeremy Douglas. Such a thing happens because of the lack of public awareness campaigns, a widespread inherent thought that drug users are criminals, and treatment facilities. Douglas stated: “The United States was ready compared to Asia – this region is not ready.” The Thai Office of Narcotics Control Board did not answer to an inquiring email comment for this recent issue.
The Latest Version of an Old Issue
Though fentanyl might be somehow new compared to heroin, both are known and classified as opioids, a type of drugs with a long, obscure history in Asia. Natural opiates from poppy plants, such as opium, have been used on the continent for many years, probably centuries. It was consumed both as a recreational drug, smoked and as a painkiller, as well.
The British developed a fortune by transporting opium from its Indian colony to willing buyers throughout Asia. Leaders in Southeast Asia and China fought endlessly to stop such a thing, but unfortunately, they couldn’t counter the massive military and economic power of the British empire. Moreover, the emperor of the Qing dynasty in China tried to develop opium trade and cultivation illegal. However, Britain went to war to maintain its most significant market and won.
Such a thing brought a considerable loss for the Chinese, considered a massive humiliation until today. As for the 20th century, many of the world’s opium and heroin arose from the Golden Triangle. Bryce Pardo, a researcher at the RAND Corporation, stated: “Southeast Asia and China have had a longstanding history of opium abuse. It is entirely possible that you could see a return to those long-running, entrenched drug-use patterns, just with new chemicals.”
Providing to a Current Market
Douglas stated that if drug dealers were to turn to fentanyl, they wouldn’t have to develop a new market. They’d only change heroin, the already existing product, with something more compelling. It could also be a lot cheaper and already made in China. Dr.Andrew Kolodny, a senior researcher at Brandeis University’s Institute for Behavioral Health, explained that he worries about Asia’s heroin users could die at a very high rate if synthetic opioids go mainstream. A synthetic opioid crisis in Asia could be very devastating because the area is already facing some drug cases, with what is known as the world’s most massive methamphetamine issue.