DOJ Rolls Out New Initiatives For Opioid Enforcement

Posted On Friday, April 27, 2018

What Happened

In mid-April, the Department of Justice announced several new initiatives in the war on opioid-related crime:

  • On April 17, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the DEA reached information sharing agreements with 48 states to exchange prescription drug information to aid law enforcement investigations.  These agreements will allow states to share information gathered through programs like state-run Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs.  In turn, the federal government will share information with states, including the data gathered by the DEA Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System (“ARCOS”) program, which collects information on the 80 million transactions for distributors and manufacturers.  This information – from both state and federal governments – will be used by law enforcement to, in the DOJ’s words, “find the tell-tale signs of crime.”
  • Also on April 17, 2018, DOJ announced the DEA’s proposed rule change which will set limits on opioid production in the United States.  The proposed rule is in response to the belief that the United States produces far more prescription opioids than necessary, far more than other countries and, thus, is more susceptible to drug diversion.

For the Record

Attorney General Sessions indicated, “Under the proposed rule, DEA’s opioid production limits would be more responsive to the risk of drug abuse by explicitly taking diversion into account. It’s a common sense idea: the more a drug is diverted, the more its production should be limited. Today’s proposed rule will give DEA more information to help the agency protect law-abiding Americans from the threat of drugs—and that makes all of us safer.”

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