PENNSYLVANIA (WTAJ) – Congressman John Joyce, M.D. (PA-13) led a House Energy and Commerce Committee roundtable discussion to address the fentanyl crisis that has become the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18 and 49.

The roundtable took place on Wednesday, Jan. 11.

Two of the witnesses participating in the roundtable were Mr. Raymond and Mrs. Deborah Cullen of Shippensburg, PA, who tragically lost their son, Zach, to an overdose in August of 2022. The Cullen’s shared the story of their son’s death and answered questions about the impact of the fentanyl crisis on Pennsylvania communities.

Watch their opening remarks here.

“This problem touches every district in our country, and it’s critical that we on the Energy and Commerce Committee work to find a solution,” Congressman Joyce said. “For over a year, Republicans have been trying to permanently ban fentanyl related substances by labeling them as schedule one narcotics. This designation will help give law enforcement the tools and resources they need to stop the drug traffickers that are killing American citizens without remorse.”

The roundtable was the first step in the legislative process as lawmakers look to pass legislation to permanently label fentanyl analogs as Schedule 1 narcotics under the Controlled Substances Act.

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Paul Knierim, Former Assistant Administrator, Chief of Intelligence, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Dr. Timothy Westlake, M.D., an Emergency Medicine Physician also made remarks and serves as panelists during Dr. John Joyce’s roundtable.