Mexico City: Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday questioned the U.S. strategy against the fentanyl crisis, saying it was relying on “palliatives” instead of tackling the root of the problem.
The U.S. government recently legalized the sale of an over-the-counter drug to reverse fentanyl overdose, rather than address the causes that lead to its widespread abuse, noted Lopez Obrador.
Will the over-the-counter drug “serve as a medication to eradicate addiction or is it just going to prolong the agony?” he asked at his daily press conference at the National Palace in Mexico City.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on March 29 authorized the over-the-counter sale of Narcan, a naloxone hydrochloride nasal spray that rapidly reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.
Lopez Obrador said the best strategy is to address why so many are using and abusing opioids.
Mexico’s Undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion Hugo Lopez-Gatell said the U.S. measure reflects “simplistic thinking” in the face of a complex problem.
It reveals a lack of interest in tackling social problems, such as entrenched inequality and absence of opportunities, especially for the young, said Lopez-Gatell.
The opioid crisis in the United States has in recent years led to tens of thousands of accidental deaths from overdose, according to experts.