Tuesday, February 6, 2018

30-Day Budget Amendment Announced to Help Combat the Fentanyl Crisis in New York State

On February 5, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a 30-day budget amendment will be advanced to add 11 fentanyl analogs to the state controlled substances schedule and provide the New York State Health Commissioner the authority to add any new drugs that have been added to the federal schedule, to the state controlled substances schedule. These actions will support law enforcement in their efforts to stop the spread of lethal drugs in New York State.

"Make no mistake: Fentanyl is potent, dangerous and its abuse is increasingly fueling the misery of the opioid epidemic," Governor Cuomo said. "These actions will give law enforcement the tools they need to combat this drug, holding the death dealers who peddle it accountable and helping ensure that our laws are able to keep pace with this evolving public health crisis."

"New York is working aggressively to combat the opioid epidemic, which is tragically affecting families and communities across the state," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Co-Chair of the Heroin and Opioid Task Force. "Fentanyl is especially deadly - we must give law enforcement the tools to take it off our streets and save lives. By adding fentanyl analogs to the controlled substance list, Governor Cuomo is doing just that."

In recent years, fentanyl analogs have been increasingly found pressed into pill form to resemble name-brand prescription opioids, and in heroin and cocaine being sold in New York State. Compared to 30 milligrams of heroin, just three milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal. A preliminary analysis conducted by the Department of Health identified more than 2,900 opioid-related deaths among state residents in 2016. Specifically, Staten Island saw a 700 percent increase in overdose deaths involving fentanyl - from seven deaths in 2015 to 58 deaths in 2016. Statewide, the number of fentanyl-related deaths increased by nearly 160 percent. 

Click here for the full announcement.

Source: Press Office, Governor Andre M. Cuomo

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