February 22, 2021

Manchin, Portman Reintroduce Bipartisan FIGHT Fentanyl Act To Permanently Schedule Fentanyl-Related Substances

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Rob Portman (R-OH) reintroduced the bipartisan Federal Initiative to Guarantee Health by Targeting (FIGHT) Fentanyl Act to permanently schedule illicitly manufactured and deadly fentanyl. In February 2018, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a temporary scheduling order to schedule fentanyl-related substances that has allowed federal law enforcement authorities to bring criminal actions against individuals who manufacture, distribute, or handle fentanyl-related substances. This scheduling order is set to expire on May 6, 2022. The FIGHT Fentanyl Act codifies DEA precedent to permanently schedule fentanyl-related substances.  

“Every West Virginian has experienced the impacts of the drug epidemic on our family, friends, and neighbors and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made matters worse,” said Senator Manchin. “West Virginia has the highest overdose rate per capita of any state in our nation and fentanyl now makes up a majority of overdose deaths. I am proud to reintroduce the bipartisan FIGHT Fentanyl Act to permanently schedule fentanyl-related substances and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this legislation so that we can keep fentanyl out of our communities.”

Overdose deaths across the country due to fentanyl-related substances continue to rise, which is causing a significant impact on communities across the country.  According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in the 12 months ending in May 2020, the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period.

A timeline of Senator Manchin’s efforts to address the opioid crisis can be found here.