Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Kristin Corrado sponsor legislation that would establish a program to detect fentanyl in the illegal drug supply. The Senate Law and Public Safety Committee today approved the measure (A5445/S3909).
Senators Kean and Corrado sponsor a bill to establish a program to detect the presence of deadly fentanyl in the illegal drug supply.
The bill would require the attorney general to establish a program to test for fentanyl in all controlled dangerous substances seized by police in the state.
“The severity of this crisis demands action, and I am pleased the committee took up this bill today,” said Kean (R-24). “With the information we learn from this program, we can better understand where fentanyl is most common and which neighborhoods and towns face the greatest risks. The testing could help police track the sources of the deadly drugs and get them off the streets.”
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid up to 25 times more potent and dangerous than heroin. Fentanyl-related deaths in New Jersey have increased dramatically in recent years, and fatal overdoses involving synthetic opioids have exploded from 38 in 2012 to 1,376 in 2017, when there were almost 2,000 overdose deaths in the state.
“Fentanyl is a killer. People are dying on the streets because they aren’t aware fentanyl is in the drugs they are using,” said Corrado (R-40). “Fatal opioid overdoses in the State are 50 percent higher than the national average, and the prevalence of fentanyl is largely responsible. The data we learn from this program will help save lives.”
The information received from testing will be compiled and continually updated in a database accessible to law enforcement agencies across the state.
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