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Wed Mar 22, 2017, 05:18 PM

Brown backs legislation to provide electronic screening for fentanyl

As fentanyl continues to exact a huge death toll in Ohio, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is pushing legislation to expand use of technology to stop the synthetic opioid before it enters the U.S.

Brown, a two-term Democrat, proposed spending $15 million for new screening devices, laboratory equipment, facilities and personnel focused on border points where the deadly drug enters the country, often from Mexico and China. The INTERDICT Act is bipartisan legislation to boost efforts by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

"Fentanyl has taken far too many lives across Ohio, and this is one concrete step we can take right now to help stop it from entering our communities and destroying any more Ohio families," Brown said in a conference call. "It's not enough to treat overdoses as they happen we must do more to stem the tide of deadly synthetic opioids flooding the country."

Fentanyl, which is 50 times more powerful than heroin, is responsible for an increasing number of deadly overdoses in Ohio and nationally. Franklin County Coroner Anahi Ortiz reported recently that her office has seen a death per day from fentanyl overdoses. The Ohio Department of Health said fentanyl-related overdose deaths doubled from 2014 to 2015.

Read more: http://www.dispatch.com/news/20170322/brown-backs-legislation-to-provide-electronic-screening-for-fentanyl

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