The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis Calls for Passage of the STOP Act in its Final Report

ASAP Urges Congress to Quickly Pass the Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act to help cut off a pipeline of toxic opioids by closing a loophole in the global postal network.

Washington, D.C. – Today, the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis released its final report, making recommendations for addressing the nationwide opioid health epidemic. While there are many strong recommendations and there is certainly no single solution, one of the preventative measures that can be acted upon immediately to curb the flow of opioids from overseas is acting on bipartisan legislation currently being considered. After multiple hearings featuring experts on health, addiction and security, the commission has issued its support for the Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, which would help limit the flow of opioids mailed from abroad. A major postal loophole currently allows over one million packages every day sent through foreign postal services to enter the U.S. without the advanced electronic data law enforcement agencies need to screen and stop illegal and dangerous goods, including synthetic opioids. The STOP Act would close this loophole by requiring the postal service to provide this data to Customs and Border Protection, as private carriers are currently required to do.

“The sheer volume of international mail and [international mail facilities] infrastructure make interdiction efforts focused on illicit opioids and other drugs a monumental task. One method to address this issue is the increased use of Advanced Electronic Data (AED). Federal regulation requires express package operators to transmit AED prior to package arrival in the United States,” wrote the commission in its report. “To this end, the Commission recommends support of the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act of 2016 or the STOP ACT of 2016, which…amends the Trade Act of 2002 to direct the Department of the Treasury to require the Postmaster General to provide for AED transmission to CBP of certain information on non-letter class mail imported into the United States.”

The bill has wide bipartisan support, with 26 co-sponsors in the Senate and 244 in the House of Representatives, and is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police and the American Medical Association

“Americans for Securing All Packages is grateful that President Trump’s commission recognizes the serious threat posed by the postal loophole, and understands that closing the drug pipeline via the mail is a crucial step in managing the opioid epidemic,” said Governor Tom Ridge, senior advisor to ASAP. “We hope that Congress and the federal agencies handling this crisis quickly take these recommendations to heart, and support this important legislation.”

“There is a clear consensus among the experts focused on this crisis – Congress needs to pass the STOP Act now,” said Juliette Kayyem, senior advisor to ASAP. “For efforts at treatment and recovery to be effective, our government must ensure it is doing everything possible to keep these deadly drugs out of our country in the first place.”

President Trump has also personally spoken of the need to close the loophole, stating on the campaign trail that his administration would “crack down on the abuse of the loopholes in the Postal Service to literally mail fentanyl and other drugs to users and dealers in the United States.” The STOP Act’s goals are also consistent with the commission’s interim report, issued earlier this year, which advised the administration to “support federal legislation to staunch the flow of deadly synthetic opioids through the U.S. Postal Service.”