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Apr 8, 2016 8:30 PM

Congressman Frank Guinta visits U.S.-Mexico border

WASHINGTON, D.C.-New Hampshire 1st District Congressman Frank Guinta spent part of this week visiting the U.S. Mexican border, and is calling for more efforts to stop the flow of drugs into the U.S., particularly heroin.

"80 percent of the heroin that's used in New Hampshire comes from one of the two large drug cartels in Mexico," says Guinta.

Guinta's visit included a tour of a new border wall separating El Paso from Juarez, Mexico, which his staff in a press release called "one of the world’s most dangerous cities". Representative Guinta also met with leaders of the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) and Joint Task Force North (JTFN) at Fort Bliss on the Texas-New Mexico border. He says there's progress being made.

"The border has been strengthened," Guinta says. "Now we have an 18-foot wall that's monitored by customs and border agents as well as border surveillance"

But Guinta says illegal drug activity is still a problem. He says more needs to be done, not just with interdiction efforts, but with stopping the flow of drugs at his source, something he says the Obama administration is falling short on.

The Congressman, along his Second District counterpart Annie Kuster, is a co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, which is holding a Congressional briefing next week in Washington, DC. According to Guinta's office, pain management and addiction experts will be discussing opioid prescription practices. The briefing comes in the wake of the President's announcement of a plan to stop opioid over-prescription.

While Guinta hasn't fully reviewed the rules recently approved by the New Hampshire Board of Medicine regarding prescription of opioids, he says that 2 ways the state can do more to avoid over-prescribing include bringing the knowledge and expertise of pharmacists more fully into the process , and upgrading the state's prescription management system-which he calls "archaic"-so that there's better controls in place to avoid the practice of "doctor-shopping" for prescriptions.

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