Contained within this legislation was an important provision, previously introduced as a standalone piece of legislation, the Fentanyl Sanctions Act. This bill will hold countries accountable for their pledges to go after those who produce and/or traffic fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.
Specifically, this legislation will give the United States government the tools it needs to sanction illicit traffickers from China, Mexico and others. It also provides new funding to law enforcement and other government agencies to combat the trafficking of this substance.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the “age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (drugs such as fentanyl, fentanyl analogs, and tramadol) increased by 45% between 2016 and 2017), in part, a cause of the explosion of overdose deaths in recent years.2
Given the potency, and increased usage of this deadly drug, President Trump and the Congress have looked for ways to crack down on its availability. In fact, this past April, President Trump received a commitment from China to add fentanyl-related substances to their list of controlled drugs.3