China Bans Flakka and Synthetic Drugs

This article was originally posted on the Intervention Services blog.

The Chinese government imposed new controls on the sale and distribution of synthetic drugs including the disorientating stimulant alpha-PVP, aka flakka, as well as over 100 synthetic drugs.

In an effort to curb the bad publicity and foreign pressures, the Chinese government has made flakka and synthetic heroin (also known as fentanyl) illegal. Generally, the authorities in China would only criminalize certain drugs if it were a threat to its domestic citizens.

However, in an unprecedented policy change, China has officially recognized the dangers of the 116 Chinese drugs being consumed abroad.

With the recent change in policy, the websites of the more popular Chinese labs that would promote the sales of synthetic drugs are saying that they are temporarily out of their popular products. These labs, notorious for changing the molecular structure of molecules to go around foreign nation’s drug laws, may soon disappear to darker realms of the internet.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Gonzalez, “They seem to be wanting to make an effort to crack down on the exportation of these illegal synthetic drugs that have caused such serious problems in our country.”

American authorities could certainly use the help from abroad as they have been rushing to shut down the rise of illegal drugs coming through Southern Florida. With the horror stories of the extremely addictive flakka and fentanyl causing a spike in cases of drug overdose, the closing of the Chinese pipeline is a blessing.

In 2014, crime labs in Broward, Florida reported 477 cases of confiscated flakka. That’s a rate of27 cases per 100,000 residents. No other county came close, with Chicago’s Cook County clocking in next with fewer than half of Broward’s cases, according to DEA statistics.

We can only hope that the ban of the selling and trading of synthetic drugs will have a positive effect on the rising rates of drug use and overdoses in the United States. At the very least, the ban on flakka will help curb the rates of deaths that occur due to the wild behavior that is common among users high on the destructive drug.

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Photo Credit by Joshua Doubek (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons