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Editorial: Fighting overdose rates

This week, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill sponsored by Ohio’s Democratic senator, Sherrod Brown, which was aimed at keeping illegal Fentanyl out of the U.S.

Overdose rates in Ohio are the highest in the country, with rates spiking as the potent pain reliever hooks addicts.

The white powder is cheaper and more powerful than heroin and imported from China.

Brown’s legislation, the INTERDICT ACT, is designed to provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection with needed resources to stop the importing of Fentanyl.

This includes additional high-tech screening equipment and lab resources to detect the drug before it enters the U.S. The bill will authorize $15 million for hundreds of new screening devices, laboratory equipment, facilities and personnel for lab support.

Brown’s office said the funds will be used to provide more portable chemical screening devices at ports of entry and mail and express consignment facilities and additional fixed chemical screening devices available in CBP laboratories. It will also provide CBP with sufficient resources, personnel, and facilities, including scientists available during all operational hours, to interpret screening test results from the field.

The legislation, which is backed by the Fraternal Order of Police, has already passed the Republican-controlled House and is headed to the White House to be signed.We applaud Brown for his leadership in getting this effort through Congress in a bipartisan manner and hope that President Donald Trump quickly agrees to approve it and help law enforcement curtail the staggering rates of overdoses in the state and nation.