H.R. 467, the HALT Fentanyl Act, led by Reps. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Bob Latta (R-OH), would make the temporary class-wide scheduling order for fentanyl-related substances permanent. It ensures law enforcement has the tools they need to keep these extremely lethal and dangerous drugs off our streets. The bill also ensures practitioners can research fentanyl-related substances (FRS) so we can better understand its overall effects on people's health.
Permanently scheduling fentanyl-related substances is DEA’s top legislative priority.
If the emergency class-wide scheduling order expires:
- Many fentanyl-related substances will become street-legal.
- Law enforcement will lose the authority to seize these extremely lethal drugs.
- Drug traffickers will be empowered to push deadlier and deadlier drugs on our streets, skirting federal law by changing as little as one molecule in the fentanyl formula to create legal variations.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection will lose the authority to seize these substances crossing the border. During an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, a Biden administration official CONFIRMED the southern border is the primary way illicit fentanyl enters the U.S. after being made in Mexico with chemicals from China.
LIVES ARE ON THE LINE:
- In 2022, more than 109,000 people died of drug overdoses; roughly 75,000 of whom died from synthetic opioids—largely illicit fentanyl or fentanyl-related substances.
- Illicit fentanyl poisonings are now the number one cause of death among adults 18-49—more than COVID-19, cancer, heart disease, and car accidents.
- Fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances can be 50-100 times more potent than morphine—or worse. Just a few milligrams, which can fit in the ear of Lincoln on a penny, can be lethal.
- Fentanyl is easier to produce than cocaine or heroin – it only takes a few hours to make – and fentanyl can be sold for 100 times or more than what it cost to make. Since small doses of fentanyl are extremely potent, it’s easier to illegally smuggle small batches across the border.
- The Energy and Commerce Committee heard from expert testimony that in the five years fentanyl-related substances have been subject to the temporary scheduling order, the creation and distribution of new fentanyl-related substances has effectively “ground to a halt.”
BOTTOM LINE: We need to take action on the HALT Fentanyl Act to make the temporary class-wide scheduling order for fentanyl-related substances permanent and give law enforcement the tools they need to keep Americans safe. Focusing on substance use disorder (SUD) treatments and harm reduction techniques alone will not address the unique threat posed by fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances that can kill a person instantly when laced with other substances or pills.
Taking Action to Save Lives:
January 11, 2023: Energy and Commerce Republican roundtable on America’s Fentanyl Crisis.
Ray and Deb Cullen lost their son, Zach, to fentanyl poisoning
January 25, 2023: Energy and Commerce Republican roundtable on Big Tech and the Fentanyl Poisoning Crisis.
February 1, 2023: Health Subcommittee Legislative Hearing titled “Lives Worth Living: Addressing the Fentanyl Crisis, Protecting Critical Lifelines, and Combatting Discrimination Against Those with Disabilities.”
Molly Cain lost her son, Carson, to fentanyl poisoning
February 15, 2023: Joint Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee and Health Subcommittee Field Hearing: “President Biden's Border Crisis is a Public Health Crisis.”
March 8, 2023: A Health Subcommittee Markup of Five Bills, including the “HALT Fentanyl Act.”
March 23, 2023: Full Committee Markup of 19 Pieces of Legislation, including the “HALT Fentanyl Act.”