Fighting the opioid epidemic: Congress can’t just pass laws, but must also push to enforce them

JULY 16, 2019

By Juliette Kayyem

In today’s hyper-partisan environment, we should celebrate the success of a bill being signed into law, especially on an issue as serious as the nationwide opioid epidemic. It takes months, if not years of hard work for legislation to earn the approval of both chambers of Congress and reach the oval office. But that’s never the end of the process, and Congress cannot rest once a bill secures the president’s signature.

Yet that is precisely what we risk with one of the most important laws designed to fight the ongoing opioid crisis. The Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (Stop) Act is designed to close a major loophole in the international mail system that allowed drug traffickers to easily evade law enforcement and ship dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl directly into the U.S.