acetyl fentanylWASHINGTON, D.C. (11/22/19) — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) cosponsored legislation this week that would permanently list all types of fentanyl-like substances (analogues), as Schedule 1 narcotics. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50-100 times stronger than heroin, continues to be the most lethal drug for Kentucky, killing 786 Kentuckians last year alone, U.S. officials reported.

Fentanyl analogues are created by slightly modifying the chemical structure of fentanyl, which drug traffickers use to escape scrutiny by law enforcement, according to a press release. The Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues Act will give law enforcement additional tools needed to continue to fight the addiction epidemic in the commonwealth.

“Fentanyl and its variations are fueling the deadly drug epidemic, particularly here in Kentucky,” McConnell stated. “While the commonwealth saw a decrease in the number of overdose fatalities last year, we must not lose our focus on giving law enforcement every tool possible to combat this crisis. With the ability to quickly designate fentanyl-like substances as Schedule I narcotics, the DEA can respond to new threats in real time and help keep our families and communities safe.”

“Fentanyl has wrought pain and devastation on families throughout Kentucky, and our Commonwealth is leading the fight to get it off the streets,” said Van Ingram, director of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. “Kentucky is a great example of the benefits of federal and state partnerships in the response to opioid and substance abuse. Our law enforcement officers need all the support we can provide as they bravely protect our communities and promote recovery from addiction.” 

“The constant support Senator McConnell has shown to Kentucky’s law enforcement is a key factor to keeping communities safe and our officers out of harm,” said Clark County Sheriff Berl Perdue, Jr., President of the Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police. “I’m grateful the Senate Majority Leader is cosponsoring legislation to keep dangerous fentanyl substances out of Kentucky, and the results he delivers are saving lives in our state.”

The Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues Act was introduce by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) and, in addition to Senator McConnell, is cosponsored by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Joni Ernst (R-IA).

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