Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) attended a White House signing ceremony for the International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology (INTERDICT) Act on January 10, 2018. The bipartisan bill authorizes more resources to help U.S. Customs and Border Patrol find and stop the flow of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids into the United States.
According to a report by the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, fentanyl was present in 47 percent of overdose deaths in the Commonwealth during 2016. Kentucky suffers from the third highest drug overdose mortality rate in the country.
The bipartisan INTERDICT Act was passed by the House of Representatives on October 24, 2017. The legislation:
- Authorizes $9 million to Customs and Border Patrol to purchase enhanced tools and hire more personnel to advance the fight against opioids;
- Allows Customs and Border Patrol to increase the number of chemical screening devices available to officers to interdict the illicit traffic in fentanyl and other opioids into the United States; and
- Requires Customs and Border Patrol to dedicate the necessary personnel, including scientists, to analyze and interpret the data.