Joyce Urges the President to Address Threat of Fentanyl-Related Substances Flooding into American Communities
WASHINGTON, DC – This week, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) joined Congressman Bryan Steil (WI-01) in calling on President Biden to maintain the Schedule I status for fentanyl-related substances under the Controlled Substances Act. Fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances are fueling America’s overdose epidemic, killing 64,178 Americans between May 2020 and April 2021 and making up 64% of total U.S. overdose deaths.
“Synthetic opioids like fentanyl are weapons-grade poisons that are wreaking havoc in communities across the country and inflicting heartbreaking loss on Ohio families,” said Joyce. “Our nation is facing unprecedented overdose deaths amid a record-breaking fentanyl surge across our southern border. It is imperative that the President does everything in his power to make it easier for law enforcement to seize these dangerous drugs, get them off the streets, and effectively prosecute the criminals that traffic them.”
China has become the principal source of the precursor agents from which fentanyl is produced. However, illicit fentanyl substances are primarily manufactured in and smuggled into the U.S. through Mexico. During Fiscal Year 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported a 1,066% increase in fentanyl-related substances seized at eight southern Texas ports.
Chemical versions of fentanyl are ever-changing as traffickers intentionally make small variations in an attempt to avoid steeper legal ramifications and expand profits. An extension of the Schedule I classification for these constantly changing chemical versions of fentanyl would help law enforcement expedite prosecution of traffickers and get these deadly drugs off the streets. Without immediate action, the temporary Schedule I classification for fentanyl-related substances will expire within the next month.
You can read the lawmakers’ full letter here.