OHIO –“Recently in Ohio, there were two busts that they were able to apprehend people selling fentanyl and find this cache of fentanyl that they had. In both cases it was a massive amount. Combined, just these two busts alone, there was enough fentanyl to kill half the people who live in my state of Ohio. That’s how bad it is. Recently there was an autopsy that revealed that a death of an Ohio police chief from Kirkersville, in the Columbus area, was caused by fentanyl. The report said, ‘acute intoxication by fentanyl.’ It was an accidental overdose. I’ve told before the story about the police officer who brushed a couple flakes off of his shirt after a bust. He didn’t know it was fentanyl. Those flakes were the drug. It got into his skin through his fingers. He dropped to the ground unconscious, had an overdose, and it took several doses of Narcan to save his life. Our first responders are also in much more danger now than they have ever been even with heroin and prescription drugs and other opioids,” said Senator Portman.
This was a statement that Senator Portman gave to Congress in July, in October The Senator and Hamilton Township Corner Dr. Lakshmi warns that the 50 times more powerful than Heroin Fentanyl can be found in all street drugs.
“Twice in roundtable discussions I’ve had with community leaders—I’ve heard one from a police chief, one from a sheriff—both similar stories about a young man who wakes up from an overdose after being saved through Narcan, this miracle drug that reverses the effects of an overdose, and when the young man comes to he says, ‘I was just smoking pot. How did I overdose?’ And in both cases, based on the forensics, the information they were able to get from the labs, they found out that, of course, it wasn’t just marijuana. It was marijuana laced with fentanyl. So no street drug is safe. They can all kill you,” said Portman.
The Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act is Portman’s bipartisan bill that will give law enforcement the tools they need to help identify and stop synthetic opioids from being shipped into the U.S.
“So the STOP Act is very simple. It just holds the Post Office to the same standard as private carriers, 100 percent screening, and requires that by 2020 they get all this data on all the international packages entering the United States . It is a common-sense solution. It has already passed the House of Representatives recently with a broad, bipartisan vote. Our committee has reported it out. We need to get it to the floor and get it voted on. If we do so, by the way, it will be signed because the administration has already issued a Statement of Administration Policy on it, which supports the legislation. It was actually a recommendation of the president’s commission on opioids.”
“It’s part of the solution. Is it the whole solution? No. But it is a critical part right now to try to stop some of this new poison, this fentanyl, from coming into our communities, the number-one killer so that we can, through treatment and recovery and through better prevention efforts and other better law enforcement efforts, truly begin to turn the tide on this opioid epidemic. It’s critical we do so for so many reasons we’ve talked about this afternoon, and my hope is that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will come together on this issue, the STOP Act, and say, ‘yes, we can do something to help those in our communities who are suffering, those who are dying from overdoses, those families who are looking to us and saying, what can you do to help?’