Ohio Leaders Praise Senate Passage of Portman’s Bipartisan STOP Act

September 18, 2018 | Press Releases

Ohio leaders are praising Senator Portman’s work to pass his bipartisan Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, which is designed to help stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped through our borders to drug traffickers here in the United States. The measure passed the Senate yesterday by a vote of 99 to 1 as part of a broader opioid package, and passed the House by a vote of 353-52 on June 14, 2018. Here’s what Ohio leaders are saying about the STOP Act and Portman’s leadership in combating the opioid epidemic:

  • Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine: “Drug dealers operating in foreign countries have changed their distribution methods in response to the crackdown on opiates and heroin in Ohio and are shipping deadly synthetic opioids through the mail, right into our communities. Senator Portman’s STOP Act will make Ohioans safer by giving Customs and Border Protection agents the tools they need to stop this dangerous trafficking and ultimately save lives.”
  • Gary Wolske, President, Ohio Fraternal Order of Police: “Ohioans have seen a sharp increase in levels of fentanyl, and the impact of this drug is devastating and has taken far too many lives.  The law enforcement community supports efforts to keep the supply of fentanyl out of our country. The STOP Act is one way we can make a common-sense policy change to improve the data available to law enforcement trying to identify fentanyl and other dangerous synthetic drugs entering the United States.  Congress should pass the STOP Act and continue to work with law enforcement to better understand the day-to-day challenges of the opioid epidemic.”
  • Dr. Anahi Ortiz, Franklin County Coroner: “The opiate crisis has hit central Ohio hard, and we are seeing a shift to dangerous synthetic opiates like fentanyl over the last two years. Fentanyl is being shipped into our country using the U.S. Postal Service. Sen. Rob Portman has a solution called the STOP Act, which would require the USPS to be subject to screening requirements that private carriers currently adhere to. This advance information will improve U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s ability to screen and intercept mail that contains fentanyl and keep this potentially lethal drug from reaching our communities. The STOP Act and CARA 2.0 represent the next steps in Portman’s bipartisan effort to fight substance use disorder here and nationally.”
  • Col. Thomas W. Synan Jr., Chief of Police, Newtown Police Department: “I would like to thank Congress and Senator Portman for his leadership and determination getting the STOP ACT passed. This is a critical tool needed to help create a choke point, blocking dangerous drugs such as fentanyl and carfentinal from entering our country through the post office. The STOP ACT helps us in law enforcement and helps to reduce the risk to Americans by stopping these dangerous drugs before they ever get on our streets.  I am proud that those fighting the opiate epidemic were heard and able to work with Congress helping to close a channel for other countries spreading addiction in our homeland. The STOP ACT is an actionable step to help reduce the amount of these dangerous drugs on our street, reducing the potential for overdose and death. The STOP ACT is a prime example what can be accomplished with the collaboration Congress, lw enforcement and federal partners working to reduce the impact of the opiate epidemic and keeping the people we serve safe.”
  • Bob Cornwell, Executive Director, Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association: “The Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association supports the passage of S.372 which has bipartisan support. The STOP Act would require the United States Postal Service (USPS) to comply with the same rules governing private carriers. Far too long have the foreign shippers exploited the lack of regulation of the USPS.”
  • Jonathan Westendorf, 1st Vice President and Legislative Committee Chair, Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association: “The Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association applauds Senator Portman and the members of the Senate for their support of the STOP Act.  This legislation will be instrumental to curtailing the influx of synthetic drugs from ravaging our families and our communities, while also protecting our first responders.
  • Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer: “I would like to thank Senator Rob Portman for his leadership in passing the STOP Act. This legislation will assist in plugging the hole in our U.S. Postal system where deadly Fentanyl is shipped into our communities from China. This bipartisan bill will definitely save the lives of thousands of Americans who suffer from addiction.”
  • Dr. Michael Hughes, President, Summa Health System Barberton Campus: “We applaud the Senate’s passage of the Opioid Crisis Response Act, which included language championed by Sen. Portman to close critical loopholes in the US Postal Service processes that will help prevent synthetic opioids from reaching the US.  We thank Sen. Portman for his leadership on this important issue, and for his support in fighting the disease of addiction.”
  • Duane Piccirilli, Executive Director, Mahoning County Mental Health & Recovery Board:Mahoning County has seen firsthand the loss of lives and devastation that drugs like fentanyl can have on a community. It is affecting an entire generation; we strongly support the STOP Act and all efforts to close loopholes that permit shipping into our country.”
  • Carolyn Givens, Executive Director, Neil Kennedy Recovery Centers: “With the encroachment of Fentanyl into communities across America we must take every measure possible to eradicate the supply of Fentanyl. The Stop Act is an extremely important piece of Legislation.  Not only will this help make our communities safer; it will save lives.”
  • Helen Jones-Kelley, Executive Director, Montgomery County ADAMHS Board: “This war on drugs must be fought on all fronts for us to stand any chance for success. Law enforcement works tirelessly to get fetanyl off our streets. The STOP Act closes another critical gap by keeping it away from our mailboxes and front doors.”
  • Mahoning County Juvenile Court Judge Theresa Dellick: “Mahoning County Juvenile Court supports passage of the STOP Act. Our Court daily deals with families devastated by fentanyl, carfentanyl, and other opioids. This legislation should help stop the trafficking of drugs into our country. We need to focus on our children and families to ensure a safe and secure environment for them.”
  • Dr. Beth B. Williams, Executive Director, Huron County Board of Mental Health and Addiction Services: “We have been confronted with an intrusion of Fentanyl for far too long. The STOP Act will allow our international mail security standards to address the influx of Fentanyl and other illegal drugs. To be successful, we must address this problem using all avenues, including interdiction, treatment, recovery supports and prevention. The Huron County Board of Mental Health and Addiction Services fully supports the STOP Act as a step in helping our communities become mentally and emotionally healthy and addiction free.”
  • Precia Shenk Stuby, Executive Director, Hancock County Board of ADAMHS: “Addressing the national opioid crisis requires a three-legged approach: Reducing demand through comprehensive prevention and early intervention; increasing access to treatment and recovery supports; and, decreasing supply. The STOP Act will address the third leg of this approach by reducing the stream of illicit drugs into our country through required tracking data for packages from foreign countries. We applaud Congress for its bipartisan efforts in passing this critical legislation, ultimately creating safer and healthier communities.”
  • Milan Karna, Co-Chair, Wood County Prevention Coalition Coordinator and Wood County Opiate Task Force: “So many coalitions and tasks forces have rallied and worked very hard from youth prevention initiatives to interventions that help those addicted from this terrible epidemic. Yet despite increased efforts and collaboration that is taking place here in Ohio and all across the country, our progress is directly thwarted by powerful synthetic opioids which are easily and pervasively entering our borders. With the passage of the STOP Act, we are very much encouraged that Senator Portman’s legislation will result in finally turning the tide in this public health emergency.”
  • Matt Bell, CEO, Midwest Recovery Center: “Our country deserves better and our country can do better. Acts like this that will change the momentum of this crisis that we are all experiencing, and when that happens, overdose deaths will decrease as a direct correlation. This means individuals who struggle with substance abuse will have an opportunity to seek treatment, change their lives, and once again become productive members of society. As a treatment provider, I applaud this act and those who are working tirelessly to implement it. I have no doubt that if we can address this serious problem, solutions will organically arise.”
  • Cheri L. Walter, CEO, Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities:  “As we continue to face an addiction crisis of epidemic proportion in our state and across the nation, we must collectively take steps to effectively limit access to these deadly drugs. We applaud Senator Portman for his leadership on the STOP Act and his work to disrupt the flow of fentanyl into communities throughout the country. To end this drug crisis, it is imperative that we all work together to promote community safety, support prevention programs, ensure access to treatment, and celebrate recovery.” 
  • Mircea Handru, Executive Director, Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties: “The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties  is pleased to see legislation aimed towards stopping illegal and synthetic drugs like fentanyl entering our communities.  Illegal fentanyl has taken the lives of too many Ohioans and often placed first responders in dangers.  We hope STOP Act will keep this powerful drug away from our communities.”  
  • Matt Schmidt,  Ross County Prosecuting Attorney: “I would like to thank Senator Portman for his work on the STOP Act.  Law enforcement officials and first responders work on the front lines to get fentanyl off our streets and treat those who have been exposed, often times putting themselves at risk. The STOP Act will make it more difficult to ship synthetic opioids into America and will ultimately save lives.”