Congressmen Tiberi and Neal Introduce STOP Act in the House to Address Overdose Spike From Synthetic Opioids
September 15, 2016
Today, Congressman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Congressman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) introduced the Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, legislation designed to help stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped through our borders to drug traffickers here in the United States. Senators Rob Portman, Ron Johnson and Kelly Ayotte introduced the STOP Act in the Senate on September 7, 2016.
Rep. Tiberi released the following statement:
“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.
“In Ohio, we must stand on a united front to fight the opioid epidemic and save more lives. I’m thankful for Senator Rob Portman’s leadership and I look forward to building support for this important legislation in the House.”
Rep. Neal released the following statement:
“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. That is why I am joining my colleague Congressman Tiberi in a bipartisan effort to stop this growing epidemic. We must do all we can to stop these dangerous drugs from coming through our borders.”
NOTE: Fentanyl and, increasingly, carfentanil are causing a spike in overdoses and deaths around the country. China and India have been cited as the primary source countries for illicitly produced fentanyl and carfentanil in the United States. Companies based in these and other foreign countries take advantage of weaknesses in international mail security standards to break U.S. customs laws and regulations by shipping drugs directly through the U.S. postal system. Unlike UPS or FedEx, the U.S. Postal Service does not require advance electronic customs data for the vast majority of mail entering the United States. Because of the volume of mail, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) cannot manually scan these packages and stop illicit goods from crossing our borders.
The Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act is designed to stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped through our borders. Specifically, the bill would require shipments from foreign countries through our postal system to provide electronic advance data—such as who and where it is coming from, who it’s going to, where it is going, and what’s in it—before they cross our borders and enter the United States. Having this information in advance will enable CBP to better target potential illegal packages and keep these dangerous drugs from ending up in the hands of drug traffickers who want to harm our local communities.