How China’s Lax Oversight Helped Make Fentanyl the Deadliest Drug in the U.S.

A bottle of fentanyl pharmaceuticals in Anyang city, central China’s Henan province, Nov. 12, 2018 (Photo by Chang Zhongzheng for Imaginechina via AP Images).
A bottle of fentanyl pharmaceuticals in Anyang city, central China’s Henan province, Nov. 12, 2018 (Photo by Chang Zhongzheng for Imaginechina via AP Images).

If someone had mentioned fentanyl to you 5 or 10 years ago, you might have scratched your head. But today, this synthetic opioid has become a household word in the worst sense imaginable. It’s cheap and easy to manufacture, while being 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. And it’s the most commonly identified drug in fatal overdoses in the United States. For this week’s interview on Trend Lines, WPR’s Elliot Waldman is joined by Ben Westhoff, a journalist who spent the past few years chronicling the rise of fentanyl for a new book, […]

Keep reading for free right now!

Enter your email to get instant access to the rest of this article, get five free articles every 30 days, and to receive our free email newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having your own personal researcher and analyst for news and events around the globe. Become a member now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of 15,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Daily links to must-read news, analysis, and opinion from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • Weekly in-depth reports, including features on important countries and issues.
  • Your choice of weekly region-specific newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Smartphone- and tablet-friendly website.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you — right now for just $1 for the first 30 days.

More World Politics Review