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Fentanyl, Fentanyl Analogues, Fentanyl Precursors, Human Rights, International Drug Trafficking, Nursing Ethics, Opioids



  1. Fornili, Katherine Smith DNP, MPH, RN, CARN, FIAAN


Abstract: The purpose of this Policy Watch column is to provide a brief overview of the global problems associated with the illicit production and trafficking of synthetic opioids as well as international efforts and policy approaches designed to curb them. An in-depth evaluation of drug control efforts of many different nations is important for a comprehensive analysis. However, because of the vast amount of information available, this column is limited to cooperative global control efforts, not efforts specific to any one nation. A great deal of information about production methods, clandestine laboratories, international trafficking methods, and online sales over the dark Web has been omitted. It is important to understand key issues regarding the illicit cultivation and distribution of plant-based opioids derived from natural compounds found in opium poppies (heroin, opium, morphine, codeine) or other drugs (cocaine, methamphetamines, etc.), but the scope of this column is limited to discussion about synthetic opioids including fentanyl, fentanyl analogues, and fentanyl precursor chemicals. Issues about human rights and ethical considerations for nurses and other addictions professionals are also discussed.