Lawmakers Seek To Increase USPS Drug Monitoring, Keep Out China Fentanyl
According to NBC 7 (WWSB), Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Longboat Key) is co-sponsoring a bill aimed to ramp up the drug monitoring system of the U.S. Postal Service. His target? Synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl.
The legislation, known as the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention Act (STOP) is pending hearings in three House committees. The legislation would require foreign shipments to provide electronic data to identify its origin, intended recipient, and destination – even before it even enters the country’s borders.
While drugs such as cocaine and marijuana have typically originated in the southern Americas, synthetic opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil are often imported via the U.S. Post Service in generic packages from China.
Fentanyl is a powerful opioid up to 100 times more potent than morphine. Carfentanil is a large animal tranquilizer, another 100 times more potent than fentanyl. Ingesting a small amount of either drug, even through minor skin contact, can prove deadly.
Fentanyl and carfentanil’s potency and U.S. tool are the main reasons why Congressman Buchanan is co-sponsoring legislation that aims to require increased drug screening in the U.S.P.S.
“People are dying from drug overdoses on our coast. FedEx and UPS does a good job stopping a lot of these drugs, but the postal service has not done as well of a job.”
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015 more than 33,000 Americans died from an overdose related to legal or illicit opiates or opioids, including prescription drugs such as oxycodone and street drugs such as heroin.
Rep. Vern Buchanan has been representing Florida’s 16th district since 2017, and is co-chair of the bipartisan 29-member Florida congressional delegation and serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax policy, international trade, health care, welfare, Social Security, and Medicare.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology