Following Record Number of Synthetic Overdose Deaths During COVID, U.S. Reps. Trone, McCaul and U.S. Senators Shaheen, Portman Re-Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Global Cooperation in Fight Against Synthetic Drug Trafficking

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April 16, 2021
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 16, 2021

Contact: 

Hannah Muldavin (Trone), Hannah.Muldavin@mail.house.gov 

Rachel Walker (McCaul), Rachel@mail.house.gov 

Sarah Weinstein (Shaheen), Sarah_Weinstein@shaheen.senate.gov 

Matt Lloyd (Portman), Matthew_Lloyd@portman.senate.gov 

Following Record Number of Synthetic Overdose Deaths During COVID, U.S. Reps. Trone, McCaul and U.S. Senators Shaheen, Portman Re-Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Global Cooperation in Fight Against Synthetic Drug Trafficking

WASHINGTON -- Today, U.S Representatives David Trone (D-MD) and Michael McCaul (R-TX) along with U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) announced the re-introduction of the Fighting Emerging Narcotics Through Additional Nations to Yield Lasting (FENTANYL) Results Act to increase global cooperation in the fight against synthetic drug trafficking. The group first introduced the bill last Congress, and the U.S. House passed the bill unanimously last year. 

The FENTANYL Results Act would authorize two programs through the State Department that would build foreign law enforcement capacity to detect synthetic drugs and carry out an international exchange program for drug demand reduction experts.  

Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data revealing that a record-breaking 87,000 Americans died from a drug overdose between September 2019 and September 2020 during the height of COVID. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl and other synthetic opioids were behind most of the deaths.

“My nephew Ian Trone died of a fentanyl overdose at the age of 24 alone in a hotel room, and since his passing, we’ve seen a dramatic and alarming increase in fentanyl and other synthetic opioid deaths across this country -- especially in the wake of COVID,” said Congressman Trone, member of the Commission to Combat Synthetic Opioid Trafficking and founder of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force. “We need to tackle the opioid crisis from every angle, and that includes working with international partners to curb drug trafficking and save lives. I’m honored to continue working with Ranking Member Michael McCaul, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and Senator Rob Portman on this bill that will direct new efforts within the State Department to ensure we are taking every possible step to end the flow of fentanyl and other synthetic drugs into the United States.”

“While the US has taken important steps to combat the opioid crisis here at home, we must also identify and address international flows of lethal drugs into the US, most of which come from China," said Congressman McCaul. "By bolstering international law enforcement cooperation and capacity, we can stop illegal drugs at the source and help curb the devastating opioid crisis that has ravaged communities across our nation. I am proud to join Representative Trone as well as Senators Portman and Shaheen in this bipartisan effort to help stop the flow of illicit drugs and end the opioid epidemic.”

“The circulation of fentanyl has fueled the substance misuse epidemic, which has been exacerbated during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Senator Shaheen. “To clamp down on drug trafficking, stop drugs from reaching our borders and save lives, we need a coordinated effort with our international partners. I’m glad to join this bipartisan push to strengthen our international cooperation, stop the flow of insidious synthetic drugs into our communities and save lives.”

“I’m proud to join my colleagues Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Representatives Michael McCaul and David Trone on this bipartisan, bicameral bill that will continue our work to reduce the devastating effects of synthetic opioid drug production like fentanyl,” said Senator Portman. “This legislation will strengthen State Department data collection on synthetic drug production while increasing international law enforcement capacity. This important effort will help us save lives and mitigate the devastating effects of deadly synthetic opioids, which have impacted families and communities across Ohio and our country. I urge my colleagues to join us in supporting this important legislation and will continue to do everything I can to stop these deadly substances from destroying lives both in America and around the world.”

For a section-by-section summary, click here.

To read bill text, click here.

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.

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