(Bloomberg) -- The US and India are looking to strengthen information sharing on the illegal trade of opioids such as fentanyl, to combat its misuse in the North American country.

Kristie Canegallo, acting deputy secretary at the US Department of Homeland Security, discussed the matter with her Indian counterparts at the Senior Officials’ Homeland Security Dialogue in New Delhi on Wednesday. The exchange between law-enforcement agencies is part of the 2010 India-US counter-terrorism initiative. 

“We talked about ways that we can build on our extensive information sharing,” particularly about fentanyl, Canegallo said in an interview. The two countries have an existing counter-narcotics working group.

Opioid misuse has long been an issue in the US. More than 100,000 people died of drug overdose in 2021 with synthetic opioids like fentanyl causing two-thirds of those deaths. 

India legally produces opioids, including fentanyl, and exports them to the US. While Mexico and China are the primary sources of fentanyl and other related substances, including precursors, the US Drug Enforcement Agency has, in the past, highlighted India’s role in the trafficking of some of these drugs into the US.

“We talked about the precursor drug, the precursor chemicals, and how we can be taking joint steps to try to disrupt those flows,” Canagello said about discussions with her Indian counterparts.

The US and China launched a joint anti-narcotics group to curb the production and trade of the highly addictive substance in January.

On countering terrorism, Canagello said India and the US discussed the rising threat of individuals radicalized by on-going conflicts and the continuing peril from organized terror groups. 

“The dynamism and complexity of the threat landscape is higher today than it was 10 years ago or 20 years ago,” Canagello said, when asked about the potential for lone-wolf attacks affecting the US. 

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