DEA Rule Allows Criminal Prosecution for Fentanyl Trafficking

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will classify illicit versions of fentanyl at the same level as heroin, Reuters reports. The action will make it easier for federal prosecutors and agents to prosecute traffickers of all forms of fentanyl-related substances, the agency said.

Legally prescribed fentanyl is classified as a Schedule II drug, which means it is highly addictive but has a medical purpose. The new DEA order classifies illicit fentanyl as a Schedule I drug, along with heroin. Schedule I drugs are considered addictive, with no medicinal purpose.

Full story at APTA

Tom Marino Withdraws Nomination as Head of White House Drug Control Office

Representative Tom Marino of Pennsylvania announced this week he is withdrawing his name from consideration as head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. His decision comes in the wake of a Washington Post and 60 Minutes joint report that concluded legislation Marino sponsored hampered efforts by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to fight the opioid epidemic.

The legislation, the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act, was opposed by the DEA, and supported by drug companies, NPR reports. It changed the standard for identifying dangers of opioids to local communities from “imminent” threats to “immediate” threats. This impeded the DEA’s authority to freeze suspicious shipments of opioids in order to reduce the flow of painkillers to the black market, the article notes.

Full story at drugfree.org

DEA Adds New Fentanyl Drug to List of Banned Substances

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has added another fentanyl-related drug, known as furanyl fentanyl, to its list of banned substances, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Furanyl fentanyl started appearing in a national database that tracks drug seizures in December 2015, the article notes. The drug has been linked with 325 deaths through October of this year.

Full story of Fentanyl drug banned at drugfree.org

DEA Receives More Than 22,000 Comments on Proposal to Ban Kratom

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has received more than 22,000 comments about its plan to temporarily ban the drug kratom, according to The Washington Post.

The agency in October said it would reverse its decision to temporarily make kratom a Schedule I drug in the wake of protests by advocates, scientists and kratom vendors. Schedule I drugs are considered to have a high potential for abuse and to have no currently accepted medical treatment use.

Full story of proposal to ban the drug Kratom at drugfree.org

DEA Temporarily Bans Synthetic Drug Pink

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has temporarily banned the synthetic drug Pink under federal law, according to NBC News. The agency has received reports of at least 46 confirmed deaths associated with the drug.

The DEA has placed Pink, also called U-47700, on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, alongside heroin, LSD and Ecstasy. The ban will last for 24 months, with a possible 12-month extension, before the DEA decides whether to make it permanent.

Full story of DEA banning synthetic drug pink at drugfree.org