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Opioids

Opioids - pills and syringeThe opioid epidemic is devastating too many American communities. At the Department of Homeland Security, we are working with our partners here and overseas to stop the flow of illicit opioids at the source and interdicting narcotics before they reach our borders. We also focus on dismantling and destroying transnational criminal organizations, which smuggle illicit drugs across our borders and into our hometowns.

DHS works with interagency and international partners on a comprehensive approach to attacking the opioid epidemic. These efforts include the U.S. Coast Guard patrolling the South Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea to interdict illicit narcotics before they reach our shores. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) works diligently to detect and apprehend persons seeking to cross our borders illegally – many of whom are smuggling illicit opioids and opioid analogues.  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations also conducts investigative and intelligence related efforts to drive a counter network approach to disrupt and dismantle the transnational criminal organizations responsible for smuggling illicit drugs across our border and distributing them to a vast U.S. drug market that results in the poisoning and killing of Americans.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) continues to take action against illicit fentanyl shipped to the U.S. through the mail. CBP operates within major international mail facilities, inspecting international mail and parcels arriving from more than 180 countries. Additionally, CBP and the U.S. Postal Service are working to increase the amount of advance information we receive on international mail. This advance information enables ICE and other agencies to identify networks of foreign suppliers and domestic importers that are responsible for smuggling fentanyl into the United States. These networks have been targeted for investigation and prosecution.

While DHS focuses primarily on supply reduction, we recognize that demand reduction is a critical element in the U.S. government’s comprehensive efforts to combat opioid abuse.

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Last Published Date: August 14, 2018

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