Today, the Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking issued its final report urging immediate action to combat rising overdose deaths related to synthetic opioids.
According to the Maryland Department of Health, 1,129 Marylanders died from fentanyl (a synthetic opioid)-related overdose in 2021. In Maryland, overall opioid overdose deaths have reached all time highs in each of the last two years. Maryland Congressman David Trone, Co-Chair of the Commission, stressed the importance of the report’s findings and recommendations to reduce overdoses and overdose related deaths in a press release:
“Since 1999, we’ve lost more than one million Americans to drug overdoses. That’s one million moms, dads, sons, and daughters lost because our country’s response to the opioid epidemic has failed,” said Congressman Trone. “It’s time to come together, from all levels of government and both sides of the aisle, to address this epidemic and put an end to it once and for all. The Commission’s informed proposals must serve as a roadmap for our country’s leadership, including Congress, to take swift, deliberate action in the months to come. Let’s get to work.”
The Commission consists of seven federal Executive Branch departments and agencies, four sitting members of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, and four subject-matter experts. In its report, the Commission suggested efforts to:
- Establish strategies to reduce demand, such as increasing prevention resources and access to treatment, as central priorities in the fight against opioid trafficking;
- Develop a unified, central body to coordinate planning, implementation, and evaluation of all U.S. drug control policies;
- Disrupt drug supply through targeted oversight and enforcement;
- Collaborate with other countries involved in the production and distribution of synthetic opioids and their chemical precursors;
- Improve data collection and analysis to allow for more timely and effective responses on the ground in our communities
With the recent Johnson and Johnson opioid medication settlement, the State of Maryland and its local subdivisions will have significantly more funds to pursue opioid abatement, including many of the suggested measures in the Commission report.
Click here to read the full Commission report.