The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has found that a vast drug-distribution network that originates in China is feeding the deadly opioid fentanyl to the United States, Mexico and Canada.
The network trades not only in finished fentanyl, but related products that are subject to little or no regulation in China or elsewhere, The Wall Street Journal reports. Some of these products are known as analogs, which are copies of fentanyl. Others include the chemical ingredients of fentanyl, as well as pill presses used to make the drug.
Fentanyl is an opioid legally prescribed for cancer treatment. It can be made illicitly, and is 25 to 50 times more potent than heroin.