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March 25, 2021

Trone Voted Co-Chair of Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking


Contact: Hannah Muldavin, 

Trone Voted Co-Chair of Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking

WASHINGTON — Today, Congressman David Trone (MD-06) announced he was elected as the Democratic Co-Chair of the Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking, a commission established by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020 tasked with developing a strategic approach to combating the flow of synthetic opioids into the United States. The Commission elected Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) to serve as the Republican Co-Chair.

Trone was appointed to the Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“As overdoses continue to rise across the country, we’ve got our work cut out for us in the fight against synthetic drug trafficking,” said Congressman David Trone. “I’m ready to get to work alongside Co-Chair Cotton and our bipartisan team as we develop solutions to crack down on the flow of synthetic drugs and save lives.”

Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and fentanyl analogues are among the deadliest illicit substances in the drug supply today.  In 2019, synthetic opioids other than methadone (SOOTM)—the category of drugs that includes fentanyl and its many analogues—were involved in more than 36,000 deaths, the most of any drug. These drugs originate outside the U.S. using precursor chemicals from Asia, can be purchased over the internet using cryptocurrencies, and are brought into the United States across our borders or through mail and commercial express consignment carriers.

[i] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. “NCHS Data Brief Number 394, December 2020.” Data Table Number 3. 

About the Commission

This bipartisan commission was established under Section 7221 of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act to develop a consensus on a strategic approach to combating the flow of synthetic opioids into the United States.

Specifically, the Commission is charged with examining all aspects of the synthetic drug threat to the United States and with producing interim and final reports that articulate a bipartisan strategic approach to combat the flow of synthetic drugs into the United States, which have been a driver of overdose deaths in America for the past several years.

The Commission has fifteen members from the Executive and Legislative Branches. Members from the Executive Branch include the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Secretaries of Homeland Security, Defense, Treasury, and State, and the Director of National Intelligence. Legislative Branch members are appointed by the majority and minority leaders of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Minority leader of the House. They each appoint one Member of Congress from their own party and one individual who is nationally recognized for expertise, knowledge, or experience in the many issues related to the production, sale, and trafficking of synthetic opioids.

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Appropriations, Veterans’ Affairs, and Joint Economic Committees in the 117th Congress and previously served on the Education and Labor and Foreign Affairs Committees. In Congress, Trone is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the opioid epidemic, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.