Senators such as Senator Chuck Grassley are seeking to spread more awareness of the public health crisis of the drug Fentanyl.
Lawmakers are pushing this to establish May 10th as a national awareness day for the deadly drug.
Grassley has led a group of senators to advocate for the move, as overdose deaths have skyrocketed in recent years because of its high addictiveness and influx.
Just this past year, over 105,000 Americans have died due to drug overdoses; 69,000 of those deaths are the direct result of fentanyl, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency.
“Fentanyl has poisoned the streets of our communities, including through counterfeit pills that are made to look like prescription drugs. These fake pills are often sold on social media or other online platforms to teenagers and young adults, which has worsened the substance abuse crisis. By joining our effort to raise awareness, law enforcement officers, parents, and educators across the country can take proactive steps to get illicit counterfeit pills off the streets and help save lives,” Grassley said.
Dianne Feinstein (D-Cali) also helped in the advocacy of the motion, showing Grassley’s overall active bi-partisan overreach:
“Once fueled by prescription drugs, the opioid epidemic that has ravaged the United States for years is now fueled primarily by fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is lethal at extremely low doses. This means when illegal drug dealers mix small amounts of the drug into counterfeit pills, the risk of an overdose death rises exponentially,” said Feinstein.
A coalition of businesses, non-profit organizations, and other agencies has also formed to raise awareness of the issue. In addition, the developing group has supported the creation of an additional advisory council that would include experts in drug policy, public health, and harm reduction.