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Poughkeepsie … Dutchess County continues to battle the opioid epidemic, particularly educating residents about fentanyl, a potent opioid responsible for a growing number of overdose deaths nationwide. County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro joined Senator Charles E. Schumer yesterday highlighting the deadly impact of fentanyl and the need for additional tools to combat this dangerous drug.
Fentanyl is a synthetic, short‐acting opioid analgesic, 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl‐related overdoses have been increasingly linked to illegally manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl analogues. In Dutchess County, in 2017, there were 87 accidental overdose deaths, of which 48 involved fentanyl.
“Fentanyl is one of the most vicious drugs we have ever faced,” noted Senator Schumer during the press event in Poughkeepsie yesterday where he called for Congressional support of the “Providing Officers with Electronic Resources Act,” a bipartisan bill which creates a new grant program through the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that will help state and local law enforcement secure new high-tech, portable screening devices to quickly, effectively and safely identify dangerous drugs like fentanyl in the field.
County Executive Molinaro said, “Across the country and throughout our local communities, abuse of opioids has claimed the lives of too many of our friends and loved ones. In Dutchess County, we continue ‘Breaking Through’ the obstacles to recovery and broaden our network of resources, all with one goal: saving lives. We have already achieved successes, and we are helping more residents take the first step on their path to becoming productive members of their community, free from the grip of substance use. But substances like fentanyl challenge our efforts with deadly outcomes. We will utilize every tool available to us to combat fentanyl to save lives, including electronic resources to help law enforcement to identify these deadly drugs.”
Such screening devices would augment Dutchess County’s aggressive and innovative efforts to prevent opioid overdoses and save lives.
Among Dutchess County’s ongoing efforts to combat the opioid epidemic:
County Executive Molinaro will discuss the opioid epidemic, among other topics, during his 2019 State of the County address on Wednesday, February 27th at 5:30 p.m. at the Culinary Institute of America’s Marriott Pavilion, Ecolab Auditorium. During his address, County Executive Molinaro will outline the focus and priorities for Dutchess County Government in 2019. The State of the County address event is open to the public. To learn more about the event and to RSVP visit dutchessny.gov/rsvp.