Resources for Law Enforcement
Law enforcement is our central defense against counterfeit drugs in the United States. Federal agents and police officers all over the country are working at capacity to stop fake drug operations that threaten Americans. Opening the United States' borders to imported medicines will overwhelm law enforcement's resources and undercut their mission. In a 2017 investigation about the impacts of drug importation, former FBI Director Louis Freeh learned that the DEA, FBI, FDA, Interpol, and local police all agree that "proposals to allow drug importation from or through Canada would turn the advantage from law enforcement to criminal organizations."
On Counterfeit Drugs And Drug Importation
- What do major law enforcement organizations think about drug importation proposals? They don't like them. Read about resolutions and objections to drug importation raised by the nation's leading organizations.
- Counterfeit Drugs In America: Crimes, Victims & Solutions - our primer about the threat counterfeit medicines pose to Americans.
- Op-eds from Policymakers on Drug Importation - law enforcement, regulators and patient advocates writing about the dangers of importation.
- Report on the Potential Impact of Drug Importation Proposals on U.S. Law Enforcement - former FBI Director Louis Freeh's 2017 report about the dangerous effects of drug importation.
First Responders and Fentanyl
Illicit, imported fentanyl and its analogues have become a significant driver in the opioid epidemic.The drugs–which may be sold as powder; mixed into heroin, cocaine and other illegal drugs; or made into counterfeit pills–have caused a spike in fatal overdose deaths across the country. These drugs are a significant threat to law enforcement and other first responders who may encounter them.
Police officers and other first responders may encounter raw fentanyl, fentanyl pills or fentanyl in the process of being made into pills in the course of their work. Officers have been sickened and overdosed because of tiny exposures to these drugs, and it is vital that they protect themselves.
FBI Director Louis Freeh on the impact of importation on law enforcement (July 14, 2017)
keep up to date
Fentanyl: A Briefing Guide for First Responders (DEA, June 2017). Offers an overview of fentanyl trafficking in the U.S. and guidance for first responders about how to protect themselves.
Fentanyl 101. Our infographic explains what fentanyl is, where it comes from and how it's getting into counterfeit medicines in the U.S.
Counterfeit Pills Made with Fentanyl. PSM maintains updated information about incidents involving counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl on this page and its state subpages. Check here to see how counterfeit pills are affecting your state.
Officer Exposure to Fentanyl
Officer Treated After Allegedly Coming Into Contact With Suspected Fentanyl (West Virginia, April 16, 2018)
Officers, EMTs Treated After Possible Exposure To Fentanyl (Massachusetts, April 6, 2018)
1 Of 2 Charged After Deputy Exposed To Fentanyl During Traffic Stop Pleads Not Guilty (Wisconsin, March 8, 2018)
Man Facing Charges Of Exposing Trumbull Co. [OH] Deputies to Drugs (January 18, 2018).
Rockingham County [NH] Sheriff's Deputies Treated For Exposure To Fentanyl (New Hampshire, December 8, 2017)
First Responder Overdoses Underline Extreme Danger To Opioid Exposure (Ohio, November 25, 2017)
Police: Substance That Sickened Officer Included Fentanyl (Rhode Island, November 18, 2017)
Keeping Drugs At Arm’s Length (New York, October 28, 2017)
Pa. To Fund Opioid Overdose Antidote For First Responders (October 5, 2017)
New Hanover [PA] Officers Taken To Hospital After Exposure To Fentanyl (October 5, 2017)
With Opioids So Strong, Here's How DEA Agents Protect Themselves (September 27, 2017)
Deadly Fentanyl Leads County Cops To Halt Field Tests (Pennsylvania, August 12, 2017)
[Pittsburgh] SWAT Team OK After Suspected Fentanyl Exposure During Raid (August 10, 2017)
UPDATE: Deputy Given Narcan After Opiate Exposure Shares Story (Kentucky, July 12, 2017)
These Three Very Good Police Dogs Overdosed On Fentanyl — And Lived (Florida, July 1, 2017)
[GA] Police Officers Exposed To Fentanyl After Spill In Vehicle (June 28, 2017)
In Opioid Crisis, A New Risk For Police: Accidental Overdose (Maryland, May 27, 2017)