A simple law will help keep toxic opioids out of our communities

OCTOBER 26, 2018

By Rep. Mike Bishop

Some of the strongest synthetic drugs, like fentanyl or carfentanil, can be 50 to 500 times as potent as a regular street dose of heroin and are responsible for a growing share of fatal overdoses. They are most commonly manufactured abroad, ordered on secretive “dark web” drug markets, and shipped to the U.S. through the international postal system. Under current law, foreign packages sent through the mail and delivered by the U.S. Postal Service are not required to include advance electronic data, which Customs and Border Protection and other security agencies use to detect drugs or other illegal shipments. Advance electronic data is required for private shippers like UPS or FedEx, but for more than a decade, the Postal Service has avoided similar requirements, which has left our brave law enforcement officers under-equipped to stop drug dealers from flooding our communities with opioids.

I was proud to take the lead on legislation designed to close this loophole, which has now passed overwhelmingly in the Senate (99-1) and the House of Representatives (353-52) with endorsements from across the political spectrum. The Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention Act will hold the USPS to the same standards as private carriers and mandate advance electronic data on all international packages.