Tackling overdose crisis

Published 7:08 am Thursday, February 1, 2018

Earlier this month, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio,  questioned witnesses from the U.S. Postal Service and the State Department over resistance in an effort to require electronic shipping information on international parcels.

Portman, in the two-hour hearing, was following up on a report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which tracked online purchases of fentanyl and carfentanil by hundreds of buyers in 43 states.

The drugs, which have figured into a spike of overdose deaths, were purchased most heavily in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania. Portman’s office has said fentanyl sellers in China operate on the Internet, and then use the postal service as their preferred method of shipment.

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We applaud Portman for seeking answers on this problem. His efforts follow the passage, this last month, of the INDERDICT Act, drafted by Ohio’s senior U.S. senator, Democrat Sherrod Brown.

The legislation, which gives more resources to customs officials in monitoring shipments into the United States in hopes of intercepting illegal fentanyl from overseas, was championed by law enforcement officials nationwide.

Portman supported Brown in this effort, which passed the House, and got a unanimous vote in the Senate, before being signed into law by President Donald Trump.
Ohio has led the nation in overdose deaths and the drug situation remains a national crisis.

It is assuring to see that both of our senators are continuing in their efforts in leading the way to curtail the import of fentanyl and are committed to reducing the tragedy of the epidemic from escalating further.