WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. House of Representatives passed the HALT Fentanyl Act (H.R. 467), a bill cosponsored by Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-05), giving law enforcement the tools they need to keep fentanyl-related drugs off our streets. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)'s top legislative priority is to permanently classify fentanyl-related substances as Schedule I drugs, which provide stronger penalties for criminal trafficking.
"Fentanyl is showing up in all our communities, impacting more families and killing more Americans than ever before. In fact, fentanyl overdoses are now the number one cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18 and 49 - outpacing cancer deaths and fatal car accidents. This drug is wreaking havoc at every turn, endangering the lives of first responders who unknowingly come in contact with the lethal substances as well," said Rogers, founder of Operation UNITE and the national Rx and Illicit Drug Summit. "The HALT Fentanyl Act makes the DEA's temporary order permanent, ensuring there is no lapse in the penalties necessary to bring justice to drug dealers and organized traffickers."
While drug overdose deaths slightly declined nationwide last year, approximately 75 percent included fentanyl or fentanyl-related substances, which can be up to 100 times more potent than morphine.
According to the DEA, six out of ten fake prescription pills tested positive for a lethal dose of fentanyl or fentanyl-related substances last year. The DEA launched the "One Pill Can Kill" campaign to raise awareness about illicit pills that look nearly identical to legal prescription painkillers. Learn more about the warning signs at https://www.dea.gov/onepill.
The HALT Fentanyl Act now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
For more information about Congressman Rogers' work in Washington and at home in Kentucky, visit halrogers.house.gov.