Public safety officials across the United States are scrambling for solutions to a worsening crisis caused by synthetic opioids. Fentanyl and similar synthetic drugs killed nearly 10,000 Americans in 2015. As Nathaniel Popper explains in his New York Times article, these drugs are arriving in the United States by international mail, delivered by the U.S. Postal Service to users and dealers who purchase them over the internet from producers in Asia, and especially China.
As the article discusses, requiring advanced, electronic information for packages arriving by international mail is an important step to stopping this synthetic drug traffic. This same information is required for packages sent internationally by private carriers – a major reason one of the online drug traffickers told The New York Times that shipping the drugs through the U.S. Postal Service “was the most efficient method of transit.”
Currently, legislation introduced in the U.S. Congress with bipartisan support seeks to close this loophole by strengthening electronic information requirements for packages arriving by international mail.
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