12 Jul Brindisi: Bill will impose sanctions for illegal fentanyl shipments – News – Uticaod
In response to the March overdose spike alert issued in Oneida County, U.S. Rep. Anthony Brindisi pushed for a bipartisan amendment that cracks down on illegal shipments of fentanyl from China.
Today, the House of Representatives passed that amendment, which will be included in the National Defense Authorization Act for President Donald Trump to sign once it passes Congress.
“This legislation, supported by Democrats and Republicans, will crack down on China and give law enforcement the tools they need to stop this deadly drug entering our country,” Brindisi said in a statement. “The opioid epidemic has torn apart too many Oneida County families, and we must take action. … We must fight back against illegal drugs and provide treatment to those addicted to them.”
Brindisi and U.S. Rep. Max Rose, D-NY, led the effort to get the language into the National Defense Authorization Act.
That legislation, which had 20 cosponsors, will force China to make all fentanyl illegal. It will also provide the U.S. with the ability to go after those traffickers bringing fentanyl into the country from places like China and Mexico.
Nationally, synthetic opioids have surpassed prescription opioids as the most common drug involved in overdose deaths, according to the National Vital Statistics System.
In 2017, there were 47,600 opioid-related overdose deaths, of those 28,466 involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.
In March, there were 21 heroin overdoses within 10 days, resulting in five deaths in Oneida County alone. Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol said the bill will give local law enforcement officials the tools they need to help combat this epidemic.
“We thank Congressman Brindisi for leading on this important issue,” Maciol said in a statement. “Fentanyl is a dangerous and illegal drug and we need to keep it off our streets. This bill will help our office do just that”
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