WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal announced legislation Thursday that hopes to stem the flow of dangerous synthetic drugs across the country's borders.
The bill, co-sponsored by Neal and U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, is an attempt to limit the flow of powerful drugs, such as fentanyl and carfentanil, into the United States.
"Each day, nearly 125 Americans are dying from drug-related overdoses. Many of these victims are succumbing to powerful synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil which are hundreds of times more potent than heroin. The toll these deadly drugs are taking in our communities is alarming and unprecedented," Neal said in a statement.
The bill's plan would mandate that shipments from foreign countries through the United States Postal Service would include electronic advance data, in an effort to give Customs and Border Patrol a better chance at finding illegal substances. Fentanyl-laced heroin has been at the root of a significant increase in overdoses in the Midwest, the Centers for Disease Control announced in August.
"Recently, a dangerous spike in overdoses hit our own communities in Cincinnati, Columbus and across Ohio because of the extreme potency of synthetic drugs mixed with heroin. The STOP Act would enhance the U.S. Postal Service's process of tracking shipments from foreign countries to detect illicit and counterfeit goods, like synthetic drugs such as fentanyl and carfentanil, and stop them from crossing our borders into the United States," Tiberi stated.
Fentanyl is significantly more powerful than heroin and has also been found in heroin seized by police in Massachusetts. According to a Massachusetts Department of Public Health report released in August, Fentanyl was present in 66 percent of the toxicology screens conducted after a fatal overdose, an increase from 2015.
Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376