U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Senate colleagues introduced two new bills to help combat the fentanyl epidemic affecting communities in Indiana and across the nation. Currently, drug overdoses, largely due to fentanyl, are the leading cause of death among young adults 18 to 45 years old.
The Halt Lethal Trafficking (HALT) Fentanyl Act,introduced by Senators Young, Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), would make permanent the temporary classification of fentanyl and fentanyl analogs as Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This permanent classification would provide law enforcement with the tools they need to better combat the impact of this deadly drug.
This legislation also would remove barriers that impede the ability of researchers to conduct studies on these substances and allows for exemptions if such research provides evidence that it would be beneficial for specific analogs to be classified differently than Schedule I, such as for medical purposes.
“The HALT Fentanyl Act will permanently classify fentanyl-related substances as Schedule I, enabling law enforcement to better fight the impact of this deadly drug,” said Senator Young.
For more information on the HALT Fentanyl Act, click here.
The Cooper Davis Act,introduced by Senators Young, Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), would require social media companies and other communication service providers to take on a more active role in working with federal agencies to combat the illegal sale and distribution of fentanyl and other illicit drugs on their platforms.
The bill is in honor of Cooper Davis, a 16-year-old Kansas teen who tragically lost his life to a counterfeit prescription drug laced with fentanyl in August 2021. It was later discovered that a drug dealer solicited Mr. Davis through a popular social media platform, Snapchat.
Under this legislation, social media companies and communication service providers would be mandated to report the sale or distribution of illicit drugs including fentanyl, methamphetamine, or a counterfeit controlled substance on their platforms to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The DEA’s data infrastructure also would receive improvements to bolster their intelligence gathering on drug dealers operating across various online communication platforms.
“Fentanyl is devastating communities in Indiana and across our nation, and we need to do more to address the flow of these drugs, including distribution via social media, that are poisoning young Americans. Our bipartisan Cooper Davis Act will give law enforcement officials more tools to combat the illegal sale and distribution of drugs,” said Senator Young.
For more information on the Cooper Davis Act, click here.
Senator Young recently spoke on the Senate floor about how the fentanyl epidemic is affecting Hoosiers. To watch his remarks, click here.