Brookfield, WI—The National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition (NNOAC), which represents 40 state narcotic officer associations and more than 60,000 law enforcement officers, announced its support of the Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues (SOFA) Act. Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI-05) and Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) have introduced companion versions of the SOFA Act in the House and Senate, respectively.

Congressman Sensenbrenner: “The SOFA Act will help empower law enforcement officers to combat the growing spread of deadly fentanyl analogues. As criminals look for new ways to circumvent our laws, we must adapt to the evolving threats in the opioid epidemic. I thank the NNOAC for their service keeping our communities safe and for their support of this important legislation.”

NNOAC President Bob Bushman: “We appreciate the leadership from Chairman Sensenbrenner and Senator Johnson on this important issue. With more than 72,000 drug poisoning deaths in 2017 alone, many of them related to the ever increasing use of fentanyl-laced heroin, this tragic epidemic will only get worse unless we put forward every tool possible to tackle it. We urge swift consideration and passage of the SOFA Act.”

Senator Ron Johnson: “The SOFA Act will give law enforcement important new tools to curb the supply of illicit fentanyl and close legal loopholes that have allowed criminal drug manufacturers and traffickers to stay one step ahead of the law. I appreciate the support of the National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition for this important bill. I join them in urging Congressional leadership to pass the SOFA Act as soon as possible.”

You can read more about the SOFA Act here.

You can read the bill text here.

You can view the full text of the NNOAC letter below:

 

Dear Congressman Sensenbrenner,

I am writing on behalf of the National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition (NNOAC), which represents 40 state narcotic officer associations and over 60,000 law enforcement officers, in support of your legislation, H.R. 4922, the Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues (SOFA) Act.

As you know, cases involving fentanyl have exploded, and we are seeing drug overdose deaths surge because of it. Confiscations or seizures of fentanyl have risen by nearly seven-times from 2012 to 2014, with 4,585 fentanyl confiscations in 2014. Disconcerting, because of the potency of fentanyl, fentanyl related deaths have more than doubled from 2013 to 2014. Fentanyl is now the fifth most commonly found drug in an overdose death. It is tragic to witness the devastating effect that the opioid and heroin epidemic is having on our communities. Many of us have family members or friends who have been afflicted with addiction, or sadly have overdosed.

To tackle this growing problem, we believe SOFA provides significant steps to combat and deter the fentanyl trade. By immediately rescheduling nineteen fentanyl analogues to Schedule I and making it easier for DEA to reschedule other fentanyl analogues, it will enable law enforcement to be more pro-active in responding to the opioid crisis. NNOAC appreciates that you sought to address the whack-a-mole challenge of targeting the quickly altered chemical makeup of dangerous narcotics to avoid prosecution. By empowering DEA to respond sooner with drug scheduling authority, it will make it easier to keep up with the new compounds.

The ever-changing nature of synthetic opioids have made our ability to go after those who produce, traffic, and distribute the poison that is flooding our streets ever more difficult. Tragically, every day that we continue to debate how to tackle the opioid problem, 91 more Americans have lost their lives from an overdose. With fentanyl being added to the mix, it has only exacerbated the carnage.

We appreciate the hard work that you have put in to this legislation and believe that SOFA will provide an additional valuable tool to help get this epidemic under control. Please consider us as a resource at your disposal as you move forward with this legislation and other policy initiatives.

Sincerely,
Bob Bushman
President
National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition