Democrats and Republicans Just Worked Together (!) to Make Progress on the Opioid Epidemic

A new law will crack down on foreign fentanyl.

President Trump signs the INTERDICT Act/White House

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

On Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump signed bipartisan legislation that will appropriate funds to buy machines that identify packages containing fentanyl, an opioid up to 100 times more powerful than morphine that is driving the overdose epidemic.

The new law, called the International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology (INTERDICT) Act, authorizes $9 million for Customs and Border Patrol to buy and man high-tech scanners that can quickly detect fentanyl and its many variations without requiring that packages be opened.

While most heroin in the United States comes from Mexico, the bulk of fentanyl is illicitly manufactured in China and sent in the mail, either directly to the United States or to Mexico, where it is mixed with the drugs before making its way north. Because the drug is so potent, it is deadly in small doses and easy to conceal. 

Drug surveillance, rather than an $18 billion wall, is “real border protection,” said Paul Tencher, chief of staff for Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who authored the senate legislation. Tencher noted that the legislation seems to be one of the few agreements between congressional democrats, who are pushing for increased federal funding for addiction treatment and research, and the president, who has so far failed to deliver promises to devote resources to the epidemic.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate