WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing legislation to stop fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid, at the nation's border.
The International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology (INTERDICT) Act, H.R. 2142, provides U.S. Customs and Border Protection with enhanced, portable chemical screening devices to detect fentanyl and other synthetic opioids at ports of entry and at mail facilities.
Fentanyl can be up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. In 2014, fentanyl killed 9,500 Americans.
"Last year, fentanyl was a contributing factor in nearly half of all drug overdose deaths in Kentucky, killing 623 people and devastating their families," said Congressman Rogers, co-founding co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse. "We're attacking the drug abuse epidemic from every angle, utilizing Operation UNITE's holistic model including law enforcement, treatment and education. As a first line of defense, stopping this deadly drug from entering our country could save thousands of lives."
The majority of fentanyl in the United States originates in Mexico or China and is typically smuggled across the border or sent via mail or express consignment couriers.
The INTERDICT Act now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration.