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Senator Schumer calls for stringent border checks to curb drug inflow

Looking at the worsening opioid crisis in the United States, Senator Chuck Schumer from New York is advocating stringent border checks to combat cross-border smuggling of drugs. He is also insisting on hiring more border agents to strengthen the forces, and increasing the number of screening devices to detect smuggled opiates like synthetic fentanyl.

Responsible for the increasing drug overdose cases in the country, fentanyl, when mixed with heroin and other opiates, can have a deadly effect on the drug users. Schumer said that the drug has become popular in New York and played a significant role in 2,754 fatal drug overdoses reported in New York in 2015.

Fentanyl, found on the streets of New York, usually enter the country through its porous borders, said Schumer. The drug is mostly produced in China and Mexico and is smuggled across the Mexican and Canadian borders. At times, local drug dealers also receive the drug through post offices.

“These deadly substances are being delivered to our homes, being sold on our streets and destroying our families,” said Schumer. The bipartisan measure that he is supporting is gaining traction in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and he is confident that it will end up in the federal budget. He added that the best way to stop the illegal drug trade is to stop them at the borders.

INTERDICT to thwart fentanyl smuggling

Under the International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology (INTERDICT) Act, border patrol staff will receive chemical screening devices at every port. The law will provide enough power for them to pin down miscreants looking to push drugs through the borders.

Gradually, every express shipping consignment facility and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection laboratories will get the powerful screening devices. Ardent proponents of the law are of the view that it will save many lives in the future.

As claimed by Schumer’s aides, the screening devices would be capable of detecting another powerful substance called Carfentanil, a potent opiate used to tranquilize elephants. It was responsible for the recent spate of overdose deaths in the region. An aspect that is sensitive for Upstate New York is its close proximity to the Canadian border. To tackle the problem, the agents need screening devices that are more effective.

Schumer also said that fentanyl is so potent that it requires special measures to combat the negative effects. For instance, Narcan, a substance used to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose is ineffective in case of fentanyl overdose. In such a situation, Narcan can hardly reverse the effects.

Dealing with drug overdose

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioids, including prescription opioids and heroin, killed over 33,000 people in the U.S. in 2015. Prolonged addiction to any substance can lead to other complications and at times, it can even turn fatal. Chronic and severe addictions can cause severe withdrawal symptoms and can pose challenges during treatment. It is important to undergo detoxification to overcome an addiction. Detoxification should be done under the supervision of medical experts. Early intervention ensures a long-term and comprehensive recovery so one must not delay treatment to avoid any untoward incident.

Instead of discrimination against the person suffering from addiction, one needs to talk to the person, act as a source of support and help him or her seek professional treatment for the problem. If you or a loved is battling an addiction, seek immediate assistance from the 24/7 Recovery Helpline. You may chat online or call our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 for detailed information about drug addiction treatment centers best suited to your needs.

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