A bipartisan pair of senators is looking to hold the U.S. Postal Service more accountable for the illicit opioids that are trafficked through the mail system, calling for the agency to institute a first-of-its-kind comprehensive strategy to address the epidemic.
The U.S. Postal Service Opioid and Illicit Drug Strategy Act would give the agency three months to develop a plan and post it online. The blueprint would support USPS in “coordinating, evaluating and improving its ongoing efforts to prevent the use of mail in the distribution of illicit drugs,” with a priority on opioids, Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich, and Mitt Romney, R-Utah, wrote in their bill.
The federal government should soon receive some assistance in its fight against opioids in the mail through “advanced electronic data,” or AED, which provide USPS and Customs and Border Protection with information about the contents of international packages before they reach the United States. A requirement for the data is already imposed on international packages coming into the country through private carriers like FedEx and UPS, but the mandate will apply across the board to international packages arriving through USPS starting in 2021 due to a measure President Trump signed into law last year.