PHOTO RELEASE Sen. Rick Scott Hosts Roundtable on Fentanyl Crisis with Families, Border and Law Enforcement Leaders, Subject-Matter Experts

February 28, 2023

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott hosted a roundtable discussion on the fentanyl crisis plaguing American families. The discussion focused on personal stories from parents who have been personally impacted and suffered loss from this crisis, and featured input from leaders representing border patrol officers and law enforcement, as well as subject-matter experts.


Yesterday, Senator Rick Scott announced his bill to designate this week as National Fentanyl Awareness Week as he fights to bring needed attention to the negative impacts of the rise of fentanyl poisoning in the United States. Read more about his resolution HERE. Furthermore, Senator Scott announced 8 additional bills he is sponsoring to combat the fentanyl crisis, read more HERE.


Senator Rick Scott said, “The fentanyl crisis has taken so much from families and communities in Florida and all across America. They deserve a platform to share their stories to help find solutions and today was about bringing people together, highlighting the horrific impact fentanyl is having and putting a spotlight on this raging crisis. We have to keep telling these stories, saying the names of those we've lost and talking about why this is happening. This crisis is not going to go away until we all start working together. We have to secure the border, STOP communist China from supplying and pushing these deadly substances, and we have to pass legislation that will hold the thugs who distribute it accountable as the murderers they are. I promise I will never stop fighting to finally put an end to this crisis and standing with these families, our law enforcement, border patrol and all who are on the frontlines of this deadly battle.”


Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma, said “We must do all we can to serve as advocates to combat the overdose crisis caused by fentanyl poisoning. As we face this unprecedented crisis, we recognize that government has to join law enforcement, families, survivors, and nonprofit professionals to raise awareness about what is really going on in our communities, while at the same time holding those dealing deadly doses of narcotics accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Sitting idle and taking no action is no longer an option if we are going to solve this problem.”


Brandon Judd, President of the National Border Patrol Council, said “The National Border Patrol Council and all the front line men and women we represent are grateful Senator Rick Scott is willing to tackle the fentanyl crisis head on. Too many of our children and loved ones are being poisoned by criminal cartels who only care about profit. We can stop the dangerous drugs from flowing into our country and we can save lives, but it takes political will, we see that will from Senator Scott.”


Lisa McElhaney, COO of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, said “The emergence of illicitly manufactured counterfeit drugs containing varied synthetic opioids, stimulants, and non-opioid chemicals is eviscerating our nation. Steps must be taken to eliminate the tools that drug predators are taking to attack our communities. Thank you to Senator Scott for his continued efforts to combat these crises.”


Suzy Pereira, The Blue Plaid Society and Parent of Child Lost to Fentanyl, said “The Blue Plaid Society is about educating the public and changing the national conversation from overdose to poisoning.  While we understand traditional drug overdoses are still happening, there is no safe dosage of illicit fentanyl, and death from one pill is not an overdose.”


Paul Steidler, The Lexington Institute, said “One way the U.S. government can reduce fentanyl deaths is to vigorously enforce a 2019 law that makes it harder for international drug traffickers to use the international postal system to ship fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances to America. The measure was enacted with broad bipartisan support, but implementation has been met with bureaucratic foot-dragging. Senator Rick Scott’s push for answers and accountability is quite important – and refreshing.”


Shabbir Safdar, Executive Director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, said, “Over the past few years, the Partnership for Safe Medicines has been tracking reported deaths from fake pills containing deadly amounts of fentanyl, bought and sold from drug traffickers dealing over social media platforms and, unfortunately, these tragedies have hit almost every state in the country. It’s time Congress addresses the deadly fentanyl epidemic by demanding more transparency and accountability from these platforms on what steps they’re taking to protect our children and families, and adequately equipping our law enforcement with the tools and resources needed to fight against this devastating epidemic.”