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As an association that represents more than 3,000 elected sheriffs nationwide, we understand and have been vocal on the dangers that importing foreign medicines would pose to citizens and law enforcement officers. If not intercepted at the border, dangerous counterfeit prescription drugs become an interior enforcement issue. Opening our borders to drug importation would increase the threat of illegitimate products entering the United States, fueling criminal organizations’ activities and profits while significantly worsening the opioid crisis.


  • The opioid crisis has grown substantially worse due to powerful synthetic opioids including fentanyl and fentanyl analogue-laced counterfeit pills being produced by illegal trafficking organizations that reach the United States through Canada and Mexico.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that among the estimated 70,200 drug overdose deaths in 2017, the sharpest increase occurred for those related to fentanyl and fentanyl analogs.
  • Leading experts, including four former FDA commissioners and former FBI Director Louis Freeh have actively opposed drug importation, citing patient safety risks and substandard drugs as just a few of many key concerns.
  • The DEA warns that exposure to even minimal amounts (approximately 2 milligrams) of fentanyl can have deadly consequences for law enforcement officers, their canines, and other first responders.


NSA Opposes Drug Importation Legislation

At its 2017 Annual Conference in Reno, NV, the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) adopted a resolution opposing drug importation legislation which jeopardizes law enforcement’s ability to protect the public health and that endangers the safety of law enforcement and other first responders. Read the full resolution here

National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) Issues Statement Opposing Legislation on Prescription Drug Importation

NSA Executive Director and CEO Jonathan Thompson issued a statement regarding Congressional legislation that would allow for the importation of prescription drugs. Read the full statement here

National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) sends letter of concern to President Trump

The National Sheriffs’ Association sent a letter to President Trump on August 8, 2018, requesting that the “Administration carefully weigh the potential harmful impact of drug importation on public safety and public health; and…take drug importation off the table of consideration.” Read the full letter