Mike Garcia Urges Congress to Act to Combat the Deadly Opioid Epidemic
Cosponsors the Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Mike Garcia (CA-25) urged Congress to take action against the opioid epidemic and cosponsored the Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues (SOFA) Act that would make the entire fentanyl-related substances category to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act permanent and add five fentanyl analogs.
On February 6, 2018, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) used their emergency scheduling authority and temporarily placed certain fentanyl analogs onto Schedule I of the list of controlled substances, allowing the DEA to better combat all “fentanyl-related substances.” This temporary, powerful tool expires in just six legislative days on May 6, 2021.
“Far too many communities and families nationwide have been devastated as a result of the opioid epidemic,” said Garcia. “Congress must step up to the plate and take action against the deadly opioid epidemic and the scourge of fentanyl. It is urgent that Nancy Pelosi schedule a vote to extend and reauthorize DEA’s authority to seize these deadly substances. I am proud to cosponsor the Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues Act, which would take the Congressional action necessary to provide DEA the authority they need to work to combat this growing epidemic.”
In 2019 alone, the United States lost over 70,000 people to drug overdose deaths. From 2018 to 2019, the West saw the largest increase in synthetic opioid-related deaths. Nearly every state has seen a spike in synthetic opioid deaths, including ten western states who have reported a more than 98 percent increase. The growing opioid epidemic has been fueled by fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances coming across our southern border and from China.
“It is imperative that Congress works both to combat the opioid epidemic and secure our borders. Our lack of sufficient border security is only fueling the deadly opioid epidemic and causing many other issues as well,” said Garcia. “Lives hang on the line and inaction is inexcusable. Congress must pass the Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues (SOFA) Act before it is too late.”
Click here to read the full bill text.