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March 22, 2023

Trone Leads Bipartisan Legislation to Combat Supply and Demand of Fentanyl

Credit: Garrett County Republican

WASHINGTON — Earlier this month, Congressman David Trone (D-MD), Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force, led two bill introductions in the U.S. House of Representatives to urgently and effectively tackle the United States’ opioid crisis.

As Chair of the U.S. Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking, Congressman Trone firmly believes that we must focus on stemming both the supply and demand of illicit fentanyl in American communities, including through prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery services.

In the last 20 years, fentanyl-involved overdoses in Maryland have skyrocketed from 4% to 80% of fatal overdoses — a 1,900% increase that tracks with national patterns.

To address security along the Southern Border, Trone co-led the END FENTANYL (Eradicating Narcotic Drugs and Formulating Effective New Tools to Address National Yearly Losses) Act alongside Congressman Michael Guest (R-MS). The Act would require Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to update its manuals at least every three years to identify ways to help prevent drug and human smuggling activity through ports of entry. It also would require the CBP Commissioner to report any changes that are made to the manuals to the House Committee on Homeland Security and the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

“Far too many Americans have lost loved ones to opioid overdoses, and millions more are currently suffering from substance use disorder. Working together, we must do everything we can to stem the flow of illicit fentanyl into our communities,” said Congressman David Trone. “The END FENTANYL Act will allow us to keep inspection practices at the border up to date to save lives and better combat this ever-evolving epidemic. This is a common-sense, bipartisan effort that we can all get behind.”

Congressman Trone was also a leading partner in introducing the Modernizing Opioid Treatment Access Act with Congressmen Donald Norcross (D-NJ) and Don Bacon (R-NE). This evidence-based legislation would increase access to care for people experiencing opioid use disorder (OUD) by reforming the outdated regulations governing the prescribing and dispensing of methadone. Methadone is one of the most effective medicines used for the treatment of OUD and is considered an “essential medicine” by the World Health Organization. Studies show that 90% of patients who use medication-assisted treatment are still engaged in recovery at the 2-year mark.

“In order to best fight the opioid epidemic in America, we have to meet folks where they are and ensure treatment is both affordable and accessible,” said Congressman David Trone. “The Modernizing Opioid Treatment Act does just that by expanding treatment options for those suffering from substance use disorder. With so many lives hanging in the balance, we must continue working together to develop innovative solutions to this crisis.”