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Shaheen Reintroduces Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Increase Global Cooperation in Fight Against Synthetic Drug Trafficking

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and Representatives David Trone (D-MD) and Michael McCaul (R-TX) announced the reintroduction 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 circulation of fentanyl has fueled the substance misuse epidemic, which has been exacerbated during the COVID-19 crisis,” said 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 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.”

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.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently 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.

To read bill text, click here.

Senator Shaheen has led efforts to combat substance misuse through her role as Chair of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee - which funds significant programming to address the substance use disorder epidemic. In government funding legislation signed into law in December, she successfully secured $50 million for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to construct a new drug laboratory in New England, which presently does not have one, to improve lab testing in the region. Currently, if a DEA sample may contain fentanyl it must be transported separately by ground transportation to the laboratory in New York City due to laws prohibiting its transfer through the mail. This process has been incredibly difficult for the region because agents must physically transport any samples that might contain fentanyl, resulting in hours of travel to New York City and back. The New York Division is also one of the busiest for DEA and a lab in New England will help both Divisions meet drug testing demands.

Shaheen has also spearheaded crucial legislation and funding to stem the opioid epidemic. She recently reintroduced the Turn the Tide Act to invest $63 billion over the next 10 years to bolster our national response to the substance use disorder crisis. In government funding legislation signed into law in 2019, Shaheen included a key provision from the 2019 version of the Turn the Tide Act to provide flexibility for treatment providers to use State Opioid Response (SOR) grant dollars to help patients suffering from meth and cocaine dependency, in addition to opioid use disorders. Shaheen wrote the provision in response to discussions with New Hampshire treatment providers. Shaheen retained this provision in government funding legislation for fiscal year (FY) signed into law in December. The FY2021 funding legislation also provided $1.5 billion in SOR grant funding, as well as the continuing of a 15 percent set-aside that Shaheen fought to secure in 2018 for hard-hit states like New Hampshire. These combined efforts led to a more than tenfold increase in federal treatment and prevention funding for New Hampshire. Over the past four years, New Hampshire has received approximately $92 million from these grants Shaheen helped secure to combat the opioid epidemic in the state, with the hardest-hit state set-aside responsible for the majority of those funds.