President Trump signs bipartisan bill fighting spread of fentanyl

President Trump signs bipartisan bill fighting spread of fentanyl
(Source: WTOL)

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined President Donald Trump when the president signed a bipartisan effort designed to fight the spread of fentanyl in Ohio and across the country.

At the end of last year, the Senate unanimously passed the INTERDICT Act. The law will provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection with hi-tech screening equipment and lab resources to find fentanyl being illegally shipped into the country before it hits the streets.

"By signing this bill into law today, we are taking a critical step in our efforts to support law enforcement on the front lines of the opioid epidemic," said Brown. "Getting law enforcement the tools to stop fentanyl at our borders will help keep it out of Ohio, where it is taking lives each day."

Specifically, $15 million for equipment and facilities for lab support. That includes portable screening devices at U.S. ports and mai and express consignment facilities. The law will also provide money for additional scientists to interpret screening tests.

"Exposure to synthetic opioids like fentanyl, even in small amounts, is dangerous to Ohio law enforcement officers and the citizens they serve," Ohio Fraternal Order of the Police (FOP) President Jay McDonald said. "As we work to keep these deadly synthetic opioids out of Ohio communities, Sen. Brown's bill provides important tools to prevent fentanyl from crossing our borders in the first place. Ohio FOP was glad to support the INTERDICT Act and we are pleased that the legislation is now law."

The law is in response to a study by the CDC showed Ohio had the second highest death rate by drug overdose in the U.S. in 2016.

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