Tags: Homeland Security | Marijuana Legalization | opioid | epidemic | heroin | U.S. customs

Sen. Portman: Communities Vital to Stop Opioid Epidemic

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio (AP Photo/Bill Clark)

By    |   Wednesday, 24 May 2017 03:28 PM

Senators will discuss legislation this week that is hoped to stem the use of the postal system to ship illegal drugs, but the real solution for the growing rate of opioid addiction is in the nation's communities, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, whose state has been hit hard by overdose deaths, said Wednesday.

"It's a terrible epidemic, and it's affecting every part of our state," Portman told Fox News' "Happening Now." "That is number one cause of crime also. People are committing crimes to pay for the addiction because it's costly."

One measure under discussion, the Stop Act, would amend the Tariff Act of 1930 so merchandise coming in through the mail can be subject to review by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and requires providing advance electronic information on shipments of mail to the customs office.

The answer lies in the nation's communities, Portman said, because "this is an issue we can't legislate away," the new law requires that private carriers, such as FedEx, UPS, and the postal service let law enforcement know what packages are coming into the country, what is in them, and where they are coming from.

"The Post Office doesn't do that," Portman said. "They're using the postal system to send this. They can find suspect packages and try to stop them."

Portman said Wednesday morning, during a meeting in his state, there was discussion communities are having trouble finding money to bury people dying from overdose deaths, and coroners are having difficulty keeping up with the deaths that are occurring.

"There are coroner offices in Ohio where there are refrigeration trucks pulled up to the coroner's office, because they don't have room in their facilities," Portman said. "This is a huge challenge for our country. More than 100 people are dying every day. More people died in the last two years from overdoses than in the Vietnam War."

Part of the problem is there is a new synthetic heroin coming in from places like China, where most of it is made, Portman said. 

"Three are evil scientists in a laboratory somewhere cooking up this chemical mix," the senator said. "It's 30-50 times more powerful than heroin. We're having a hearing on this tomorrow to dig into this deeper and talk about how we can keep some of this poison out of our communities."

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Senators will discuss legislation this week that is hoped to stem the use of the postal system to ship illegal drugs, but the real solution for the growing opioid addiction is in the nation's communities, said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, whose state has been hit hard by overdose deaths.
opioid, epidemic, heroin, U.S. customs
388
2017-28-24
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 03:28 PM
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