New legislation will help stop Fentanyl & Carfentanil from being shipped into the U.S.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Responding to the growing threat of fentanyl and carfentanil in our local communities around Ohio and the country, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced today at a Cincinnati Firehouse that he plans to introduce new legislation designed to help stop these dangerous drugs from being shipped through our borders to drug traffickers here in the United States. Portman also highlighted his recently signed-into-law Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA), whichwill help increase the availability of naloxone so our first responders can save even more lives.
“Our first responders in Ohio are dealing with the effects of the opiate addiction epidemic every day. Last year, they reversed 16,000 overdoses across the Buckeye State, saving thousands of lives. They deserve more support, including from the federal government. That’s one reason why I co-authored the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, a new federal law that will improve first responder training and increase the availability of naloxone, a miracle drug they’re using to save lives across Ohio. That’s also one more reason why I intend to introduce new legislation to help stop synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from coming into Ohio in the first place.”
NOTE: Fentanyl and, increasingly, carfentanil are causing a spike in overdoses and deaths, both in Ohio and around the country. In just one recent six-day span last week, there were 174 overdoses in Cincinnati alone, and fentanyl and carfentanil are believed to be the cause. Mexico and China have been cited as the primary source countries for illicitly produced fentanyl and carfentanil in the United States, and it is often trafficked into the United States through the mail couriers. Unlike packages entering the U.S. through private carriers – such as UPS or FedEx – the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) does not receive advance electronic customs data for the vast majority of mail entering the U.S. through foreign postal services. Because the U.S. Postal System does not have these types of sophisticated screening procedures in place, right now it’s often too difficult to detect these drugs before it’s too late.
Portman’s legislation will require shipments from foreign countries through our postal system to provide electronic advance data on packages before they cross our borders. That includes information like who and where it is coming from; who it’s going to, where it is going, and what’s in it. Having this information in advance will enable CBP to better target potential illegal packages, and that will help ensure that dangerous drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil don’t end up in the hands of drug traffickers who want to harm our local communities.
Portman recently finished a seven–city tour across Ohio to highlight CARA, which was signed into law by President Obama on July 22, 2016 after being passed by overwhelming bipartisan majorities of the House and Senate. He made a relentless push to get CARA signed into law that included visits to the Center for Chemical Addiction Treatment Center and the First Step Home in Cincinnati. Portman continues to tour the state meeting Ohioans struggling with addiction and those on the front lines in this epidemic, and is working to ensure that CARA is implemented by the Obama administration as quickly as possible.