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Legislation would permanently schedule Fentanyl-related substances

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Joe Manchin, D- West Virginia, introduced the bipartisan Federal Initiative to Guarantee Health by Targeting (FIGHT) Fentanyl Act on Monday, in order to permanently schedule illicitly manufactured and deadly fentanyl.
In February 2018, the Drug Enforcement Administration issued a temporary scheduling order to schedule fentanyl-related substances that has allowed federal law enforcement authorities to bring criminal actions against individuals who manufacture, distribute, or handle fentanyl-related substances.
This scheduling order is set to expire on May 6, 2022.
The FIGHT Fentanyl Act codifies DEA precedent to permanently schedule fentanyl-related substances.
Overdose deaths across the country due to fentanyl-related substances continue to rise, which is causing a significant impact on communities across the country.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in the 12 months ending in May 2020, the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period.
“Fentanyl hit Ohio communities particularly hard, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The most recent 12-month data we have shows the highest number of overdose deaths in the history of the United States and I’m deeply troubled that the full-year data for 2020 will be even higher,” Portman said in a news release. “This deadly, synthetic drug knows no zip code and is devastating individuals and families all across the country. This bipartisan legislation is vital to our efforts to keep fentanyl out of our communities, and I urge my colleagues to join Sen. Manchin and me in passing this common-sense legislation.”
“Every West Virginian has experienced the impacts of the drug epidemic on our family, friends, and neighbors and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made matters worse,” Manchin said. “West Virginia has the highest overdose rate per capita of any state in our nation and fentanyl now makes up a majority of overdose deaths. I am proud to introduce the bipartisan FIGHT Fentanyl Act to permanently schedule fentanyl-related substances and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this legislation so that we can keep fentanyl out of our communities.”