The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill this week that would extend the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) ban on variants of fentanyl for another 15 months.
The bill is identical to a version approved in the Senate earlier this month, Reuters reports. The measure now goes to President Trump’s desk for his signature. The DEA’s current temporary ban on fentanyl analogues expires on February 6.
The Justice Department had hoped to make the fentanyl analogue ban permanent. This would mean that all fentanyl-like drugs would be permanently listed in the same legal category as heroin and cocaine. The Senate declined to make the ban permanent because of opposition by criminal justice reform groups and researchers. The temporary ban gives the Government Accountability Office time to study how a permanent ban would affect scientific research.
How Can I Protect My Child from Fentanyl? 5 Things Parents Need to Know
Deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids (not including methadone), rose a staggering 72 percent in just one year, from 2014 to 2015. If your son or daughter has an opioid addiction, take steps to keep him or her safe.