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Sunday, April 18th, 2021

Bill targets synthetic drug trafficking

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A group of lawmakers recently introduced a measure they said bolsters global cooperation in combating synthetic drug trafficking.

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) have collaborated with Reps. David Trone (D-MD) and Michael McCaul (R-TX) in crafting the Fighting Emerging Narcotics Through Additional Nations to Yield Lasting (FENTANYL) Results Act.

The bill would authorize two programs under the State Department that build foreign law enforcement capacity to detect synthetic drugs and execute an international exchange program for drug demand reduction experts.

“Fentanyl continues to fuel the overdose crisis in New Hampshire and take lives from every community in our State,” Shaheen said “Preventing fentanyl from reaching our borders must be a key component of our national strategy to combating the opioid epidemic. Our legislation enhances our cooperative efforts with key nations to clamp down on drug trafficking through upending supply chains. Stopping the flow of drugs into our communities is a mammoth task, and we must continue to make every effort at the federal level to save lives from insidious synthetic drugs like fentanyl.”

The lawmakers cited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data released last month determining an increase in overdose deaths from 2018 to 2019 while detailing synthetic drugs led to the greatest year over year rise in overdose deaths.

“My nephew Ian Trone died of a fentanyl overdose at the age of 24 alone in a hotel room, and since his passing, we’ve seen a dramatic and alarming increase in fentanyl and other synthetic opioid deaths across this country,” Trone said. “We need to tackle the opioid crisis from every angle, and that includes working with international partners to curb drug trafficking and save lives.”