U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) joined Reps. Michael McCaul (R-TX) and David Trone (D-MD) in announcing a new bill that aims to increase global cooperation in fighting synthetic drug trafficking.
The bill, Fighting Emerging Narcotics Through Additional Nations to Yield Lasting (FENTANYL) Results Act, would authorize two programs within the U.S. Department of State to build foreign law enforcement capacity to detect synthetic drugs and to carry out an international exchange program for drug demand reduction experts.
“I’m proud to join my colleagues Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Representatives Michael McCaul and David Trone on this bipartisan, bicameral bill that will continue our work to reduce the devastating effects of synthetic opioid drug production like fentanyl,” Portman said. “This legislation will strengthen State Department data collection on synthetic drug production while increasing international law enforcement capacity. This important effort will help us save lives and mitigate the devastating effects of deadly synthetic opioids, which have impacted families and communities across Ohio and our country. I urge my colleagues to join us in supporting this important legislation and will continue to do everything I can to stop these deadly substances from destroying lives both in America and around the world.”
According to a July report from the U. S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, overdose deaths are on the rise, with numbers increasing in 2019 over 2018. The CDC reported that synthetic drugs were leading to this increase.
“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, a member of the Commission to Combat Synthetic Opioid Trafficking and founder of the Freshmen Working Group on Addiction, 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. I’m honored to work with Ranking Member Michael McCaul and Senator Jeanne Shaheen on this bill that will direct new efforts within the State Department to ensure we are taking every possible step to end the flow of fentanyl and other synthetic drugs into the United States.”