Fentanyl is the greatest threat facing Americans today. It is a threat to our public health, our public safety, and our national security, and it is the cause of the most devastating drug crisis in United States’ history.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is committed to using every tool available to fight the fentanyl crisis, which is why we have taken the important step of updating the Special Surveillance List (SSL) to include precursor chemicals and laboratory equipment often used in the illicit manufacture of fentanyl, fentanyl-related substances, methamphetamine, and other synthetic drugs.
The Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act of 1996 requires that the SSL identify chemicals, products, materials, and equipment that can be used to manufacture controlled substances. The list typically includes items identified by DEA to be most frequently used in clandestine production.
The SSL is a resource to help businesses that sell supplies, including chemicals intended to be used in laboratories, identify potentially dangerous substances and equipment that might be misappropriated for illicit purposes, such as the synthesis of dangerous drugs. The chemicals added to the SSL on October 24, 2023 include phenethyl bromide, propionyl chloride, and sodium borohydride, which can be used in the illicit manufacture of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues. This update also clarifies and emphasizes that tableting machines explicitly include punches and dies, which are used in the production of fake pills, as well as 28 precursor chemicals that can be used to illicitly manufacture synthetic drugs, such as amphetamine, methamphetamine, PCP, LSD.
The production of illegal, synthetic drugs continues to fuel a nationwide drug overdose and poisoning crisis that claimed the lives of 110,757 people in the United States in 2022. The SSL puts individuals and businesses on notice of the potential illegal use of the identified items. A person or business that sells a product from the SSL with “reckless disregard” of its illegal uses can face a fine of up to $250,000.
DEA consulted with federal, state, local and foreign law enforcement officials, forensic laboratory authorities, intelligence groups, drug profiling programs and international organizations throughout the process of updating the SSL. These updates do not impose any new regulatory burden nor do they require any new record-keeping.
This is the first update to the Special Surveillance List since it was published in 1999.
The full posting in the Federal Register can be found here.
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