Washington (May 23, 2022) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), member of the U.S. Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking and sponsor of the STOP Fentanyl Act and the Opioid Treatment Access Act, joined Commission Chair Representative David Trone (MD-06) in a letter today urging President Biden to take executive action to implement key recommendations from the Commission’s final report, which provides a framework for the United States to respond to the synthetic opioid crisis.


“We write to you with urgency following reports that nearly 108,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdoses last year, and that 71,000 of those deaths — or more than 70 percent — involved synthetic opioids, mainly illicit fentanyl,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter to President Biden. “With so many Americans now dying annually from these drugs, we must act.”


A copy of this letter can be found HERE.


The letter identified five pillars of a national response to the synthetic opioid crisis and called on the Administration to review the Commission’s report and take executive action wherever possible to enact its key recommendations:

  • Establish strategies to reduce demand, such as increasing prevention resources and access to treatment, as central priorities in the fight against opioid trafficking;
  • Develop a unified, central body to coordinate planning, implementation, and evaluation of all U.S. drug control policies;
  • Disrupt drug supply through targeted oversight and enforcement;
  • Collaborate with other countries involved in the production and distribution of synthetic opioids and their chemical precursors; and
  • Improve data collection and analysis to allow for more timely and effective responses on the ground in our communities.


The Biden administration’s inaugural National Drug Control Strategy, released in April, included numerous recommendations that echoed those in the Commission’s report.


The Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking — established under the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act — issued its final report in February. Congress created and tasked the Commission with examining the threat that synthetic opioids pose to the United States, and with developing a bipartisan, strategic approach to stanching their flow into the country.