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Jacobs pushes for action on fentanyl bill


Fri, Sep 8th 2017 08:35 pm
WNY drug seizures, attorney general warnings reinforce need to act
New York State Sen. Chris Jacobs on Friday called on New York State Assembly leaders and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to get behind legislation passed earlier this year in the State Senate enabling law enforcement to prosecute dealers mixing the deadly drug fentanyl in the heroin they sell.
Jacobs serves as a co-chair of the Senate's task force on heroin and opioid addiction. The bill, S5884, was sponsored by Jacobs and adds six new derivatives of fentanyl to the controlled substance schedule regulated by the Department of Health. The bill passed unanimously in the Senate, but sits in committee in the Assembly, along with other task force-supported measures aimed at reducing the deadly impact the heroin and opioid crisis is having all across New York.
"Yesterday's announcement of the seizure of counterfeit prescription pills laced with fentanyl that were being shipped to Buffalo emphasizes even more just how hard Western New York is being hit by this epidemic," Jacobs said. "I applaud the attorney general on the seizure and appreciate his public warnings. Now I invite him to join my Senate colleagues and me in imploring Speaker Heastie and the Assembly leadership to act swiftly in approving this legislation."
Fentanyl and fentanyl-combined drugs have been a major driver in many overdoses and deaths that have occurred across the state. Law enforcement and public health officials have confirmed fentanyl is as much as 100 times more powerful than morphine, and deadlier than heroin, because it takes more of the overdose reversal drug Narcan to counteract a life-threatening overdose. Because it is cheaper - and, like many synthetic drugs, not yet as strongly regulated - more and more drug dealers are mixing it with heroin and other opioids, leading to a greater and more dangerous street presence.
"Restricting the flow of illegal substances and giving law enforcement the tools to more effectively prosecute drug dealers are common sense and strategic approaches to combatting the heroin and opioid epidemic," Jacobs said. "Action on my bill and other task force-supported measures should not be delayed any longer, and I hope that the attorney general will join us in pushing the Assembly to become more proactive in breaking this epidemic and saving lives."

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