Calling on the New Hampshire Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) office this week, U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH) discussed Congressional efforts to keep fentanyl-related substances classified as Schedule I and, closer to home, updates on local drug interdiction efforts.
“Fentanyl is fueling the opioid crisis here in the Granite State and in communities across the country,” Kuster said. “The complexities surrounding fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances demand a thoughtful, balanced approach to protect families in New Hampshire and public health and safety nationwide. Mr. DeLena and the hardworking men and women of the DEA are dedicated to addressing this crisis and decreasing the flow of these hazardous drugs, and I look forward to sharing what I learned today with my colleagues as we continue working to combat the opioid epidemic and support Americans who are struggling with addiction.”
Jon DeLana is the Associate Special Agent in Charge at the New Hampshire DEA office.
In 2018, approximately 32,000 deaths were linked to fentanyl-related substances, up from 28,000 in 2017. In 2018, the DEA issued a temporary order keeping fentanyl and its affiliated under Schedule I classification — a heavily restrictive designation for those drugs with no accepted medical use but a high potential for abuse.
Faced with that order’s impending expiration this month, the Senate introduced the Temporary Reauthorization and Study of the Emergency Schedule of Fentanyl Analogues Act. The legislation will extend the classification and create a study of fentanyl analogues. After the Senate advanced the legislation, the House took it up last week, where a Kuster-led effort saw it advanced there as well. It heads now for the desk of the president.