National Association of State EMS Officials Joins Coalition to Close Postal Pipeline Allowing Opioids into Communities Across the Country
First-Responders Serving at the Frontlines of America’s Opioid Epidemic Increasingly Exposed to Fentanyl Coming From Overseas
WASHINGTON – With emergency medical professionals serving on the frontlines of the battle against the nation’s opioid epidemic, the National Association of State EMS Officials has joined Americans for Securing All Packages (ASAP). ASAP is a bipartisan coalition working to close a loophole in the global postal system and help address one of the pathways that allows hazardous materials – including synthetic and often lethal drugs – to reach American communities.
A security loophole within the global postal system allows almost a million packages a day to enter the United States without the electronic security data law enforcement agencies rely upon to track and stop dangerous foreign packages from terrorists or other bad actors. Powerful synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, U-47700 and carfentanil, are increasingly manufactured in foreign laboratories, purchased on the ‘dark web’ and shipped through the global postal system.
As the opioid epidemic continues to claim lives, synthetic drugs also pose severe risks to EMS professionals who come into contact with the substances while responding to emergency treatment situations. Recently 11 Hartford SWAT officers and two New Jersey detectives have had to be medically treated following exposure to these synthetic toxic substances, which can be 50 times more potent than heroin.
“The National Association of State EMS Officials has seen firsthand how our emergency community is affected by the opioid epidemic, a crisis that we are working every day to fight,” said Keith Wages, President for the National Association of State EMS Officials. “For every emergency response, our first responders need to be equipped with the right tools, such as naloxone, and be prepared for whatever they may find in this unpredictable landscape that is taking a toll on our resources. We support many ways to end the toxic dependence on opioids, and look forward to working with Americans for Securing All Packages to address the unregulated pipeline that allows drugs to reach American soil through the global postal system.”
Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) recently introduced the Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, which would require electronic security data on all packages shipped to the United States from abroad. The legislation is designed to make sure U.S. enforcement agencies are equipped to target and stop packages containing weapons, biohazards, synthetic drugs and other illegal or counterfeit materials from reaching the U.S. through the Postal Service.
Building on this initiative, Representatives Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Richard Neal (D-MA) introduced identical bipartisan legislation in the House of Representatives that would require advance electronic security data on all packages shipped to the United States.
About Americans for Securing All Packages
Americans for Securing All Packages (ASAP) is a bipartisan coalition composed of health care advocates, national security experts, businesses and nonprofits who believe it is time for the U.S. government to take action and ensure that all packages being shipped to the United States from any foreign postal service are adequately screened before arriving on the doorsteps of unsuspecting Americans.