Estonia won its war on fentanyl, then things got worse

Fentanyls are easier to make and smuggle than heroin, and far more profitable to sell
Associated Press (US)
Thursday, March 26, 2020

estonia fentanyl userFor nearly two decades Estonia battled a fentanyl epidemic so severe its overdose death rate was almost six times the European average. Once fentanyl landed, heroin disappeared. After Estonian police choked off fentanyl supply in 2017, users turned to cocktails of other kinds of synthetic drugs, including amphetamines, alpha-PVP, a dangerous stimulant also known as flakka, and prescription drugs. There are signs that the U.S. is on a similar path, tipping from plant-based drugs like heroin to synthetic ones like fentanyl and methamphetamine. That could herald big changes and cement the role of China -- an important source of illicit synthetic drugs -- as a vital link in the worldwide drug trafficking business. (See also: What we can learn from a tiny Baltic country's two-decade fentanyl crisis)