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November 17, 2021

Congressman David Trone Leads Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking on Fact-Finding Mission to Mexico and Southern Border


November 17, 2021

Contact: Sasha Galbreath, 

Congressman David Trone Leads Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking on Fact-Finding Mission to Mexico and Southern Border

Rep. Trone and members of the Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking met with Mexican health care officials

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last week, U.S. Congressman David Trone (MD-06) led the Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking on a trip to Mexico and the southern border to help curb the flow of synthetic opioids into the United States. He was joined by the Director of National Drug Control Policy Dr. Rahul Gupta and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Chief of Operations Chris Evans.

According to CDC data released this morning, the United States experienced over 100,000 deaths due to opioids between April 2020 and April 2021. This represents the first time that drug-related deaths have reached six figures in any 12-month period. 

In Maryland, opioid fatalities surged — some counties experienced triple-digit increases last year. Across our state, over 90% of opioid-related deaths involve the synthetic opioid fentanyl. 

Over the course of the week, the Commission hosted discussions with key stakeholders in Mexico City and El Paso to develop strategies to reduce opioid trafficking across the United States’ southern border. Commissioners met with Mexican and U.S. government officials, including U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar, officials from Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (FGR), and members of Mexico’s security cabinet that included representatives from Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Relations (SRE), Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA), Secretariat of the Navy (SEMAR), Secretariat for Security and Public Protection (SSPC), Mexico’s National Guard, and representatives from the U.S. State Department, Customs and Border Protection, and Drug Enforcement Agency.  

“The Commission’s work is vital to both curtail the supply of synthetic opioids into our communities and, equally important, reduce the demand,” said Congressman Trone. “We’re fighting the opioid epidemic from every angle, and we will continue working in good faith with anyone willing to fight alongside us. I want to thank the government of Mexico for their hospitality and partnership, as well as the many Americans stationed domestically and abroad who work every day to reduce the flow of drugs and save lives.”

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to working with Mexico and other partners to prevent the production and trafficking of illicit drugs, which are driving overdose deaths in the United States,” said Dr. Gupta. “This important work will build on actions we have already taken to address the overdose epidemic through evidence-based prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery support services.”

Trone was appointed to the Commission in 2020 by Speaker Pelosi. He was later elected Co-Chair of the Commission alongside Senator Tom Cotton.

The Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking was authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020. 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 as well as the general public.

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 mental health and addiction crises, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.