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Thursday, July 6, 2023

US Forms 84-Country Coalition to Combat Fentanyl & Other Synthetic Drugs

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is establishing a new coalition of nations to counter the threat posed by illicit synthetic drugs, as the US presses China to stop exporting chemicals used in fentanyl.

The new group, dubbed the Global Coalition to Address Synthetic Drug Threats will develop plans to target fentanyl, the biggest killer of Americans between the ages of 18 and 49, and other synthetic drugs including tramadol, methamphetamine, captagon (a meth-like narcotic popular in the Middle East), MDMA, and ketamine. Blinken said he will host a virtual ministerial meeting on July 7, 2023, to launch the new coalition with dozens of nations and international organizations.

“This coalition seeks to unite countries worldwide in a concerted effort to prevent the illicit manufacture and trafficking of synthetic drugs, identify emerging drug trends, and respond effectively to their public health impacts,” Blinken said in a statement.

Global Coalition to Address Synthetic Drug Threats

The coalition of more than 80 countries includes the European Union (EU), Japan, Germany, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Panama, and Peru. The US isn’t dedicating new funding to the coalition but hopes to gain more information about how the precursor chemicals move around the world, according to the official, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations. The US also wants to encourage better labeling and monitoring at ports, and get a sense of what resources countries might need to help crack down on synthetic drugs, the official said.

Coalition Opening Remarks

Below are some key points from Blinken's opening statement of the virtual conference. The full transcript is available here.

The criminal organizations that traffic synthetic drugs are extremely adept at exploiting weak links in our interconnected global system. When one government aggressively restricts the precursor chemical, traffickers simply buy it elsewhere. When one country closes off a transit route, traffickers quickly shift to another. This is the definition of a problem that no country can solve alone. That’s why we’re creating this global coalition.

We’re focused on three key areas: first, preventing the illicit manufacture and trafficking of synthetic drugs; second, detecting emerging threats and patterns of use; and third, advancing public health interventions and services to prevent and reduce drug use, to save lives, to support recovery for people who use drugs.

Now, of course, we’re not starting from scratch. For years, governments, regional and international organizations, health workers, and communities have been coming up with innovative solutions on each of these priorities. Countries in the Western Hemisphere are working with the Organization of American States to develop and implement early warning systems to detect emerging synthetic drug use.

Take-home naloxone kits, pioneered by countries in Europe, have been adopted by countries in Central Asia and other regions. The International Narcotics Control Board is promoting intelligence sharing on the trafficking of precursors to help governments cooperate on interdictions and on prosecutions. This coalition – this coalition is intended to build on these and other important efforts, not take their place, including efforts in the United States, which are among those shared lessons learned.

At every step, our focus will be on developing practical policies, diminishing the public health and public security threats posed by synthetic drugs, and improving the lives of our people (inaudible) It’s not enough to work with governments and international organizations. We need to partner with the private sector, including chemical manufacturers, shipping companies, and social media platforms because this illicit trade is built on the pillars of legitimate global commerce.

Most synthetic drugs are produced from chemicals that are used legally in making pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and household products. Traffickers advertise synthetic drugs on social media, they use online apps to communicate with prospective buyers and collect payments.

We also need to partner with hospitals and clinics, emergency departments, mental health professionals, and other public health stakeholders who are saving lives every single day while providing treatment and recovery support efforts. And we need civil society at the table, including the community-based organizations that are on the front lines of this effort.

China Invited to Join

The announcement of its formation comes shortly after Blinken visited China and raised the issue. Private Chinese firms export many of the chemicals used in creating fentanyl, which is roughly 50 times stronger than heroin, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, before it’s then trafficked into the US and other countries.

“I made clear that we need much greater cooperation to address this critical issue,” Blinken said in Beijing. He said the US and China had discussed a joint effort to stop the flow of precursor chemicals.

The US official said China has been helpful in the past. Shipments of fentanyl from China to the US dropped to almost zero when Beijing listed it on its drug export control list in 2019, the official said.

"We've invited China," Robinson, the Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, told reporters on a telephone call.

"We don't have any indication at the moment that they're going to participate."

Although Beijing "had not engaged" with U.S. officials on the issue in recent months, Washington still actively sought its help, he added. "This isn't about blame, and this isn't about pressure," Robinson said.

"Part of the reason we're trying to bring this coalition together is to engage other countries in their efforts against the supply chain, and part of their responsibility is going to be engaging with the People's Republic of China (PRC)," he said.


  1. 84 countries. Most like completely funded with make believe money by one.

    1. Uhh all fiat currency is make believe money…

    2. The money's real, the cartels will fund this coalition via payoff.

  2. The same money the cartels are dying over... Yeah

  3. Jokealition. Can't wait to still be able to buy any synthetic I want at any time no matter what they do. I GOT A JOKE FOR YOU, the war on drugs! Buy fent test from Amazon so you don't die they are very cheap! Do your fent the right way!

  4. "Egypt, Sri Lanka, Panama, and Peru."... Sounds like a complete joke.


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