Recent reports have highlighted overdoses in teenagers in Georgia schools allegedly caused by fentanyl-laced products and pills
This summer, Sen. Ossoff introduced the “Fentanyl Trafficking Prevention Act” to crack down on the sale of fentanyl through social media
This fall, Sen. Ossoff also delivered a $7 million grant to strengthen Georgia’s response to the opioid epidemic
Washington D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff is sounding the alarm on the risks of fentanyl trafficking to Georgia’s students and families.
Yesterday in a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, Sen. Ossoff raised with FBI Director Christopher Wray the impacts of fentanyl trafficking on Georgia students and families.
Just last week, according to Georgia news reports, three high school students in Gwinnett County overdosed after being exposed to fentanyl, including one student who used a vape pen allegedly laced with fentanyl.
Earlier this year, a middle school student in Lee County in Southwest Georgia was also hospitalized after using a vape pen allegedly laced with fentanyl.
“Several news outlets reported recently that multiple students overdosed on fentanyl in one Gwinnett County High School, that none of the students knew they were consuming fentanyl. One was reportedly using a vape pen. Earlier this year, students in Lee County in southwest Georgia, reportedly hospitalized, again, after using a vape that was reportedly laced, not just with THC, but also with fentanyl. Thankfully, all of the students survived,” Sen. Ossoff said to Director Wray. “Can you lay out for my constituents back in Georgia what the FBI is doing to protect children and adolescents from opioids, from fentanyl, and increasingly as we see the inadvertent overdose by students who are either vaping or perhaps think they’re taking some other drug or a counterfeit prescription drug?”
Director Wray testified that the FBI continues working to seize fentanyl and is targeting cartels, with over 300 investigations focused on the cartel leadership. He also highlighted the FBI’s actions to tackle distribution, Darknet marketplaces, and the Bureau’s efforts to raise awareness in schools to target demand.
Sen. Ossoff continues working to crack down on fentanyl trafficking and protect Georgia families.
Last month, Sen. Ossoff delivered $7 million to the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) to strengthen Georgia’s response to the opioid epidemic and save lives.
In July, Sen. Ossoff introduced the Fentanyl Trafficking Prevention Act to crack down on fentanyl trafficking by holding social media companies accountable for failing to prevent the sale of dangerous drugs on their platforms, including synthetic opioids like fentanyl, which is currently killing record numbers of Americans.
Late last year, Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan Rural Opioid Abuse Prevention Act with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was signed into law to help rural communities experiencing a high level of opioid overdoses respond to the crisis.
Please find a transcript of Sen. Ossoff’s line of questioning below:
SEN. OSSOFF: “That is obviously a top concern for parents in Georgia, and so is the opioid crisis and how it impacts high school students.
“Several news outlets reported recently that multiple students overdosed on fentanyl in one Gwinnett County High School, that none of the students knew they were consuming fentanyl. One was reportedly using a vape pen.
“Earlier this year, students in Lee County in Southwest Georgia, reportedly hospitalized, again after using a vape that was reportedly laced, not just with THC, but also with fentanyl. Thankfully, all of the students survived.
“Can you lay out for my constituents back in Georgia what the FBI is doing to protect children and adolescents from opioids, from fentanyl, and increasingly, as we see the inadvertent overdose by students who are either vaping or perhaps think they’re taking some other drug or a counterfeit prescription drug?”
DIRECTOR WRAY: “Well, of course, you’re rightly flagging that one of the really pernicious parts of the crisis, that fentanyl scourge that we’re dealing with right now is that it’s getting pressed into or incorporated into all sorts of other things. So, you’ve got — it’s bad enough for the people who are taking it intentionally because they’re addicted — but the people who are unwittingly taking it, whether it’s in their prescriptions or something else, is a huge problem.
“So, what is the FBI doing? Well, I’d start with what I said in my opening, which is just in the last two years, the FBI has seized enough fentanyl to kill 270 million Americans. That’s essentially 80% of the American public. That’s just our work. Obviously, we have lots of partners doing great work too. And just the last two years. That’ s a start.
“A few other things we’re doing. We are targeting the cartels. We have over 300 investigations focused on the cartel leadership and them as a source of supply. We are focusing on the distribution side of it here in the U.S. — violent gangs — our safe streets task forces are focused on those. We are targeting the professionals, in effect the health care profession, where they become part of it, pill mills and things like that, that are also part of the problem through our prescription drug initiative. We are also targeting the Darknet marketplaces, where an awful lot of this stuff is being trafficked. We have a whole thing called J-Code with lots of other agencies that we lead that is dismantling darknet marketplaces of opioids.
“And then from an awareness perspective, we are doing things like we worked with DEA to create a movie called “Chasing the Dragon” that was shown in schools and we’ve got other sort of outreach, awareness raising, it’s focused on schools and youth and educators to try to get at it on the demand side, too.”
SEN. OSSOFF: Thank you, Director Wray.”
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