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White House releases new plan for addressing fentanyl supply chain

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tuesday, the Biden administration announced a new strategy for cracking down on fentanyl trafficking nationwide.

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It comes as the latest CDC data shows more 106,000 people died from overdoses across the country in 2021. This same report shows the majority of those deaths involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

READ: Deputies: Florida woman charged after supplying own mother with fatal dose of fentanyl

The White House says this new plan is intended to stop fentanyl at earliest possible stages. This includes better tracking of the equipment used to produce the drug.

Another part focuses on money funding these trafficking operations. Officials say the goal is for federal law enforcement to increase seizures of large amounts of cash that are smuggled at the Southwest border.

Members of the Black Harm Reduction Network are weighing in on this plan. In addition to addressing the supply chain aspect of this epidemic, they also want the White House to help communities with prevention efforts.

READ: Fentanyl caused ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ rapper Coolio’s death

“How do we prevent deaths? People cannot go to treatment or come into recovery if they’re dead. That should be the primary focus is keeping people alive,” said Tracie Gardner, Policy Manager for the Black Harm Reduction Network

On Capitol Hill, Republicans are calling for more actions to strengthen the U.S./Mexico border. In a recent hearing, some GOP leaders accused Democrats of inaction on the issue.

“[Democrats] want you to believe we’re doing a good job at detecting and seizing it before it can enter the country and destroy and take American lives - that’s simply not true,” said Rep. Andy Biggs, R – Arizona.

READ: 35 arrested in takedown of Central Florida drug smuggling operation, investigators say

White House officials say this plan will also increase efforts to block drug traffickers’ from accessing the U.S. financial system.

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