Fentanyl Awareness Campaign – One Pill Can Kill.

Today, Kansas and our nation are experiencing the worse opioid crisis we have seen. Fentanyl has killed tens of thousands of people and is the #1 killer of young adults. I am working across the aisle and in Kansas to spread awareness and resources on the fentanyl crisis poisoning our youth across the nation. Throughout August, we will examine where fentanyl is coming from, where it is being sold, the dangers of it, how it is impacting our community, and finally, resources.

Follow along on social media and tag us in your posts!

Legislative Spotlight

The Cooper Davis Act:

The legislation honors 16-year-old Cooper Davis from Johnson County, Kansas. In August 2021, Cooper and three of his friends were connected to a drug dealer on Snapchat and acquired what they believed was Percocet, an FDA-approved prescription drug used to treat moderate to severe pain. Instead, the pills were counterfeit and laced with illicit fentanyl, a deadly synthetic narcotic. The four teenagers shared two fake Percocet pills. Cooper died from only taking half of a tablet, while his three friends survived.

Fentanyl is the most dangerous drug threat facing Americans, and fatal poisonings are the fastest growing among adolescents, teenagers, and young adults. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an analysis finding a 182 percent increase in illicit fentanyl overdose deaths among 10 to 19-year olds between 2019 to 2021. Counterfeit prescription pills were present in nearly 25 percent of deaths. 

International drug cartels have come to dominate illicit fentanyl trafficking in the country, setting up vast, sophisticated distribution networks online via social media. While investigating fentanyl-related deaths and poisonings, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has found an alarming rate of these deadly pills acquired through platforms like TikTok and Snapchat. In fact, within a five-month initiative involving hundreds of cases, the DEA linked 36 percent of cases to Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and TikTok. In addition, the DEA released an updated public safety alert finding that six out of ten fentanyl-laced counterfeit prescription pills contained a potentially lethal dose. This was an increase from the agency’s lab analysis from 2021, where the rate was four out of ten.

The Cooper Davis Act (S. 1080) would require social media companies and other communication service providers to take on a more proactive role in working with federal agencies to combat the illegal sale and distribution of drugs on their platforms by creating a standardized and comprehensive framework. It was a collaborative effort with input from organizations representing families of victims, community leaders, law enforcement, federal prosecutors, pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors, health care providers, and the technology industry.

In July, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill with broad bipartisan support. The bill sponsors are calling on leadership to expeditiously bring the bill to the Senate Floor for a vote. 

Other Legislative Priorities

  • Halt All Lethal Trafficking (HALT) of Fentanyl Act (S. 1141): Would make the temporary class-wide scheduling order for fentanyl-related substances permanent. This scheduling, which Congress has extended since 2018, would give law enforcement the tools to help combat the fentanyl crisis currently wreaking havoc in Kansas. The bill would also ensure practitioners can research fentanyl-related substances to better understand its overall effects on people’s health.
  • Combating Illicit Xylazine Act (S. 993): Would crackdown on the highly dangerous veterinary sedative, xylazine, causing fatal overdoses nationwide. Currently mixed with fentanyl, the bill would classify the drug as a Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act and enable the DEA to track its manufacturing to ensure it is not diverted to the illicit market.
  • Stop Fentanyl Border Crossings Act (S. 1192): Would authorize the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to restrict migration and imports from foreign countries to prevent the introduction of illicit drugs into the country.
  • Drug Cartel Terrorist Designation Act (S. 698): Would formally designate the following cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations: Reynosa/Los Metros faction of the Gulf Cartel, The Cartel Del Noreste faction of Los Zetas, The Jalisco New Generation Cartel, and The Sinaloa Cartel.
  • Felony Murder for Deadly Fentanyl Distribution Act (S. 380): Would make distributors of fentanyl eligible for felony murder when the individual knows, or has reason to know, that the product being sold contains a certain amount of fentanyl and when it kills the user.
  • National Fentanyl Awareness Day (S.Res. 215): Would designate May 9, 2023, as National Fentanyl Awareness Day to bring attention to the impact of fake or counterfeit fentanyl pills. It was agreed to in the Senate in early May.


In The News

Senator Marshall joined Fox4 Kansas City to discuss the Fentanyl Awareness Campaign
Senator Marshall joined Mornings with Maria: “Three hundred young Americans dying every day from fentanyl poisoning. This is the number one killer of young Americans… One pill can kill, actually one half of one pill can kill and by the way, fentanyl is easier to get than ordering pizza. You can have fentanyl delivered to your school. The cartel now has drug sellers, pushers, in those schools as well.” 

Community Involvement & Outreach