Republican Wisconsin Rep. Scott Fitzgerald introduced legislation Wednesday in the House to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic. Sen. Ron Johnson is set to soon introduce a Senate companion.
The Daily Caller first obtained the legislation, which is titled the Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues (SOFA) Act. The bill would permanently designate fentanyl-related substances to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. A Schedule I controlled substance is a drug, substance, or chemical that has a high potential for abuse; has no currently accepted medical value; and is subject to regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal penalties under the Controlled Substances Act.
“Drug overdose deaths have been climbing for years, and Fentanyl was the overwhelming driver of the record-breaking number of overdose deaths we experienced in 2021. Illicit versions of this dangerous substance are decimating our communities and the lives of loved ones struggling with drug addiction. It’s time for the federal government to wake up. We must take a stronger and more comprehensive approach to combat drug traffickers and get this drug off our streets,” Fitzgerald told the Caller before introducing the legislation in the House.
READ THE LEGISLATION HERE:
(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers
“Passing the SOFA Act is more important than ever as Americans face the worst border crisis in our nation’s history. This bill codifies an effective regulation that is preventing new fentanyl-related substances from entering our communities. Wisconsin families and American communities have been devastated by the opioid epidemic. I’m proud to work with Congressman Fitzgerald to re-introduce this lifesaving and common-sense legislation for the fourth time,” Johnson told the Caller. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Harshbarger Introduces Bill To Fight Pill Dumping, Suspicious Opioid Shipments)
The CDC says 93,331 people died from overdoses in the U.S. in 2020, the highest in 50 years. Opioid-related deaths made up nearly three-quarters of the total. In 2021, Drug overdoses in the U.S. hit record levels with more than 106,000 deaths, according to CDC. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Buddy Carter Introduces Legislation To Classify People Who Died Of Fentanyl Poisoning As Crime Victims)
Pharmaceutical companies have been blamed for contributing to the opioid epidemic. The Department of Justice is currently suing the pharmaceutical company AmerisourceBergen over allegations the company failed to report suspicious orders of opioids to federal law enforcement.