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Dem senator: We need better technology to fight opioid crisis 

Sen. Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanPro-Choice Caucus asks Biden to remove abortion fund restrictions from 2022 budget Senate Democrats call on GAO to review child care access barriers for disabled parents, kids Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers MORE (D-N.H.) says the U.S. needs to start investing in better technology to stop the influx of opioids coming in from other countries. 

"We know we need better technologies, new technology, new methods to interdict these drugs when they’re coming into our country,” Hassan told Hill.TV co-hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton in an interview that aired on Friday.

Hassan added this is especially important when it comes to drugs like fentanyl, which is more lethal even in smaller doses compared to other drugs like heroin. Nearly half of opioid-related overdose deaths involve fentanyl, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

"A much smaller amount of fentanyl is effective and can in fact be lethal, so it’s harder to detect and the profit margins for the drug dealers is huge,” Hassan said.

The senator also stressed the need to stop fentanyl shipments from other countries and tighten border security. 

“We know drugs are coming in, the component parts of fentanyl and fentanyl itself are coming in through the mail service, we also have to attend to tighter border security when it comes to cracking down on drugs coming across our border from Mexico or any other source,” Hassan told Hill.TV.

Hassan has co-sponsored two bills to address each of these concerns.

President TrumpDonald TrumpSouth Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's accounting firm MORE signed the International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology (INTERDICT) Act earlier this year. The bill gives U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials enhanced chemical screening devices to better detect fentanyl.

There's also the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act. This proposal is aimed at specifically preventing the shipment of synthetic opioids into the U.S. through the international mail system.

Though the STOP Act is still waiting to be approved by Congress, Trump on Monday called on senators to pass it after accusing China of sending fentanyl through the U.S. postal service.

Trump has repeatedly urged lawmakers to take a tougher approach to the opioid crisis, especially when it comes to punishing drug traffickers. 

The president on Thursday told Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTanden withdraws nomination as Biden budget chief Manchin flexes muscle in 50-50 Senate Udalls: Haaland criticism motivated 'by something other than her record' MORE that those convicted of illegally dealing fentanyl should get the death penalty, according a Bloomberg report. 

— Tess Bonn