President Donald J. Trump’s initiative to stop opioid abuse and reduce drug supply and demand: Cutoff the supply of illicit drugs by implanting stringent laws – Part II
President Donald J. Trump’s plan titled “President Donald J. Trump’s Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand,” launched during a speech in New Hampshire on Mar. 19, 2018, is one of the biggest steps taken by the government to fight against the menace of opioid abuse. Having already claimed tens of thousands of lives, the government is now considering the situation seriously and taking preventive steps to deal with it.
After the declaration of opioid crisis as a national public health emergency, this is the first major step enunciated by the government. It is a three-pronged strategy that aims to end the problem of opioid epidemic by addressing the various risk factors like overprescription of opioids, illicit drug supplies, etc. In order to achieve a drug-free society, the above-mentioned landmark plan outline a number of effective measures ranging from increased awareness to safer prescription plans to strengthen families and communities. In continuation to our first article, this article talks about the second set of provisions mentioned under the section “Cutoff the supply of illicit drugs” in the new plan.
Cutoff the supply of illicit drugs
One of the major reasons for the rapid rise of drug abuse across the United States is the illegal supply of illicit drugs clandestinely manufactured in Mexico and China. Rather than diminishing, drug trafficking operations have constantly evolved with time, according to the policymakers and other government agencies. Besides drug trafficking from neighboring countries, a number illegal and dangerous meth labs have been busted across different American states in recent times. A set of measures have been envisioned against various international and domestic illicit drug supply chains in the plan. Some of these steps are as follows:
Keeping risky and dangerous drugs out of the U.S. by:
- Tightening the security on land borders, ports of entry and waterways to prevent illegal smuggling.
- Demanding advance electronic data for around 90 percent of all international mail shipments (with goods) and consignment shipments within three years. The data can then be used by the Department of Homeland Security to flag high-risk shipments.
- Identifying and inspecting the high-risk shipments using advanced screening technologies and drug-detecting canines.
- Testing suspicious substances in high-risk international packages to remove any emerging and known illicit drug that can cause harm.
- Engaging with China and Mexico to curb the supply of illicit drugs like heroin, illicit opioids and precursor chemicals.
Strengthening the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Prescription Interdiction and Litigation (PIL) Task Force. This will be attained by:
- Expanding the DOJ Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit’s efforts to take legal action against corrupt or criminally negligent doctors, pharmacies and distributors.
- Taking appropriate criminal and civil actions to book under the law manufacturers indulging in any illegal practices.
- Stopping all kinds of online sale of illicit opioids and seizing any related assets.
- Increasing the number of internet enforcement efforts taken under DOJ’s new Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) team.
Reinforcing criminal action against those dealing and trafficking fentanyl and other opioids by:
- Seeking death penalty for drug traffickers whenever appropriate under the existing laws.
- Passing a new legislation that reduces the minimum amount of drugs found in possession to invoke the mandatory minimum sentences against drug traffickers. The drug traffickers would include those who indulge in the distribution of illicit opioids that can cause death even in trace amount.
Tighten laws against drug trafficking
With many Americans grappling with drug addiction, it is necessary to take stringent action against the drug cartels and people involved in the illicit demand and supply of life-threatening drugs. While there are several environmental or biological factors that can trigger addiction, it is extremely important to realize that an unrestricted supply of drugs plays a major role. The above-mentioned new measures against drug trafficking both internationally and domestically will be helpful in curbing the menace.
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To read our first article from the series ‘President Trump’s initiative to stop opioid abuse and reduce drug supply and demand’, click