Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York announced on Monday that he would propose legislation that would ban drugs that mimic fentanyl, saying he would make the issue the second proposal of his 2020 State of the State agenda. The move is a response to the ongoing crisis of opioid-related overdoses and deaths that continues to plague the state and the nation.
“The opioid epidemic is a public health crisis that continues to ravage too many communities across this country,” Cuomo said in a press release. “In New York we have taken aggressive action to combat this disease, and we are seeing results with the first reduction in opioid deaths in 10 years.”
Even with a decline in overall opioid overdose deaths last year, deaths from overdoses involving fentanyl and its analogs increased in areas outside of New York City by 124% in 2016 and by 28% the following year.
“Despite this progress, drug dealers have turned to lacing opioids and other illicit drugs with fentanyl analogs — a deadly synthetic opioid that current law does not ban,” Cuomo added.
Measure Closes Loophole in State Law
Although fentanyl and its analogs are illegal under federal law, New York state