Help is on the way to combat opioid crisis

NOVEMBER 12, 2018

By Rob Portman

Based on an 18-month investigation by a congressional subcommittee I chair, we know that fentanyl is mostly shipped into our communities from China through our U.S. Postal Service. Our legislation addressed that. The legislation – the STOP Act – was included in the new opioid law the president signed last week and closes the loophole in our international mail screening that drug traffickers have exploited. It requires the Postal Service to receive electronic advance data on packages entering the U.S., something private carriers are already required to do. This information allows law enforcement to identify suspicious packages, test them and seize fentanyl.

I’ve seen this process in person, including at the DHL distribution center at the Greater Cincinnati airport, where I met with Customs and Border Protection officers who told me how badly they need this information to keep fentanyl out. Now that it is law, the STOP Act will act as a tourniquet, stemming the flow of fentanyl into Ohio and allowing prevention, treatment, and recovery programs to take hold.