U.N. Agency Announces Tighter Controls on Chemicals Used to Make Fentanyl

Controls on the production, sale and export of some chemicals used in the illegal production of fentanyl have been announced by the U.N.'s Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

Fentanyl is a prescription opioid painkiller. It is often mixed with heroin or made to look like other painkillers, resulting in the deaths of thousands of people a year in the United States, the Associated Press reported.

In 2015, there were more than 33,000 deaths in the U.S. from overdoses involving opioids obtained either illegally or through prescriptions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pop star Prince died of a fentanyl overdose last year.

The U.N. agency's new rules will have a "clear benefit for the United States," a federal government statement said, the AP reported.

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