Now, if you’ve never been exposed to this epidemic in any form or fashion, A) you’re lucky, B) you’re probably unfamiliar with how it kills, and C) you’re a great person to spread the word about what’s going on because you’re one of the few not too busy being afflicted by this all day.

Basically, your veins can collapse, cutting off blood flow. The lining of your heart can get infected, particularly if you’re taking one of the street forms of the drug. You can experience extreme forms of sedation, which sounds nice, except that your heartbeat drops to a dangerously slow speed and our breathing becomes extremely shallow. Among all this, your immune system weakens. You won’t die from a common cold, but if you happen to cut yourself, you won’t heal as quickly. If you’re young and otherwise healthy but end up with pneumonia or mono, as is so commonly passed around in schools, then you could die from one of those if your immune isn’t strong enough to fight.

In the case of U47700, however, you don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to ingest the product in any form. All you have to do is think about having one, and if you make it to that stage where you’re holding it in your hand while you’re wondering whether you should take U47700, then it can kill you. It’s transdermal, which means it’ll go through your skin. So where gloves. Or just don’t touch it. If you see it, report it. Tell anyone, seriously.

So you get that it’s dangerous, but if it’s so dangerous, why is it here? Why does the government “allow” it? How come we haven’t gotten rid of it yet?

For prescription drugs, the answer is easy to explain. A reputable pharmaceutical supplier sends them here, and it’s all above board. You get a pill bottle from your doctor, and that’s it. Nothing illegal except the obvious overmedication of America that Trump is likely going to worsen.

However, synthetics have a more complex story.

Take a look at this report from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, which explains the supply chain of opioids from China to the United States and its many stops along the way. I want to be clear that this report doesn’t just talk about China. Dozens and dozens of countries are involved in spreading this epidemic, but the descriptions of such activities in almost all of these countries include one of the following phrases: “coming from China,” “originate from China,” or “imported from China.”

In other words, China produces synthetic opioids. They’re pretending independent producers are popping up left and right and that they’re having a hard time shutting them down despite having more control over their people than any other government worldwide. An operation of this scale that is this organized is centrally operated and controlled. Additionally, the Chinese government felt the need to deny their country was the biggest source of these drugs. Why say anything?

I put together the below chart to show the supply chain of synthetic opioids. As mentioned before, it starts in China. These drugs have even been seized aboard container ships heading our way. They make a quick stop in Mexico where they’re offloaded by the drug cartels there and loaded onto delivery trucks moving north. Once large dealers in the U.S. get the delivery, which measured in MEGATONS, by the way–definitely a centralized operation–they distribute to known dealers in their area. Those dealers, of course, are in touch with gangs who then distribute more locally on the street level. Finally, it’s quite common for someone addicted to a drug to seek company or, let’s say, strongly encourage, someone to join them in their habit.

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So, how do we stop these epidemics?

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