DEA issues emergency action to crack down on spread of synthetic opioid

As fentanyl analogues are increasingly contributing to America's epidemic of fatal drug overdoses, the Drug Enforcement Administration will take emergency action to schedule all fentanyl variants as illicit substances, making it easier to prosecute drug traffickers and manufacturers producing these analogues.  

The majority of illicit fentanyl and its analogues are manufactured abroad and imported through the southwest U.S. border. Overseas manufacturers aided by distributors of the illicit drugs create fentanyl variants to subvert regulatory oversight, as they are not specifically scheduled as controlled substances. The emergency scheduling of fentanyl analogues will take effect in December and last up to two years.

"By scheduling all fentanyls, we empower our law enforcement officers and prosecutors to take swift and necessary action against those spreading these deadly poisons," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "I also urge the many members of Congress who clearly share our concern and alarm over fentanyl's role in our opioid overdose epidemic to do their part by permanently scheduling these lethal substances."

More articles on opioids: 
Arizona governor calls for investigation into state's opioid prescribing practices 
Insurers: Addiction should be treated with same urgency as cancer 
New York state physician indicted on charges linked to 6 opioid overdose deaths

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