WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is pushing lawmakers to approve a bipartisan bill that aims to combat the flow of fentanyl into the United States.

The Fentanyl Sanctions Act would allow new sanctions to target foreign opioid traffickers in China, Mexico and other countries and would aid United States officials in pressuring the Chinese government to strictly enforce its commitment to treat all forms of illicit fentanyl as illegal.

“On average, 14 Ohioans will die every day in my state due to an opioid overdose,” Brown said. “The addiction crisis has taken too many lives and caused too much devastation in Ohio. This new bill will add effective new sanctions tools to help combat the flood of illicit fentanyl coming in primarily from China and from Mexico and help provide intelligence and funding to keep these dangerous drugs out of Ohio communities.”

During a conference call with Brown on Wednesday afternoon, Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus said her county has seen a spike in overdose deaths in recent weeks, especially in the black community. She attributed the steep increase in overdoses to fentanyl being mixed with drugs such as crack cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

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