Today, Congressman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Congressman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) introduced the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention Act (STOP Act), legislation designed to help stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped through our borders from countries like China to drug traffickers here in the United States. U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduced bipartisan companion legislation in the Senate.
In a video about the STOP Act, Congressman Tiberi delivered the following remarks:
“The statistics on Ohio’s heroin and drug epidemic are staggering. An average of eight Ohioans died from overdoses every day in 2015. Nationwide, Ohioans account for 1 in 9 heroin-related deaths, and across the state, we have seen a rapid increase in deaths linked to dangerous synthetic opioids that are 50 times more potent than heroin.
“Last year, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act passed Congress and was signed into law to provide vital tools communities need to help people suffering from addiction. It was a giant leap in our efforts to combat this epidemic, but more must be done and this battle must be fought on every front.
“To keep drugs off our streets, Senator Rob Portman and I are teaming up on the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention Act, also called the STOP Act. The STOP Act closes a loophole in our postal system to stop drugs from illegally crossing our borders from countries like China.
“This bill is about stopping drugs at their source, keeping them out of the hands of traffickers in the United States and saving more lives.
“When batches of synthetic drugs mixed with heroin hit our neighborhoods, 10, 15, 30 people at a time overdose. Our emergency responders and law enforcement cannot keep up. It doesn’t have to be this way. And, it starts by keeping synthetic drugs, which are so potent a dose the size of a snowflake can kill, from crossing the border through the mail.
“That is why the STOP Act is so important and why I am fighting to see this bill cross the finish line. Learn more on Tiberi.House.Gov/STOPact.”
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.