Washington, D.C. — The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) is endorsing federal legislation known as the Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues (SOFA) Act (S.1553/H.R.4922). It would help address the opioid epidemic by closing a loophole that allows those who traffic deadly fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, to currently stay one step ahead of law enforcement.
Fentanyl is regulated as a controlled substance. It can be a safe painkiller when used as prescribed by a doctor but also has a high potential for abuse. Fentanyl and analogues (similar to fentanyl but have a slightly different composition) that are manufactured illicitly can be lethal. These powders have made their way onto U.S. city streets with alarming regularity and overdose deaths related to fentanyl now surpass deaths related to heroin.
The SOFA legislation would enable the Drug Enforcement Administration to proactively add newly-modified fentanyl analogues to the controlled substances list.
“The SOFA Act unplugs the entire fentanyl machine in the first instance by making fentanyl analogues illegal as soon as they are manufactured which occurs most often abroad in countries without adequate controls,” reads the NAAG letter signed by 52 state and territory attorneys general and sent today to U.S. Senate and House leadership. “…we urge Congress to act expeditiously and pass this important piece of legislation.”
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