Fentanyl

WAMC, Allison Dunne

Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney was in Orange County, New York Monday to announce legislation to combat online opioid sales. He spoke at the Middletown Police Department, alongside a woman whose son died from an overdose two years ago.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The opioid addiction crisis continues to grip upstate New York as well as the rest of the country. On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer visited Schenectady to tout new legislation that is aimed at combatting the influx of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that can be many times more potent and lethal than heroin.

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A new report by Vermont's Health Department shows that drug overdoses from both heroin and prescription drugs spiked in the state last year.

Picture of Heroin
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The Vermont Health Department is warning street drug users that an especially deadly strain of heroin is circulating in several parts of the state, including central Vermont and the Northeast Kingdom.

      The death rate from the opioid crisis in Massachusetts continues to rise with a powerful synthetic painkiller playing an increasingly larger role.

As Massachusetts moves on several fronts to respond to the opioid addiction crisis, the state has closed what police and prosecutors said was a loophole in the state’s drug trafficking laws.

A new law criminalizing the trafficking of the powerful drug fentanyl goes into effect in Massachusetts Tuesday.

This is a picture of a stethoscope
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A North Adams doctor who allegedly prescribed fentanyl to a drug addict who died of an overdose has had his medical license suspended.

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In the midst of a opioid addiction crisis in Massachusetts, there is an effort to close a loophole in the state’s drug trafficking laws.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced the filing of legislation Monday to make it a crime to traffic fentanyl — a synthetic painkiller that is up to 50 times more potent than heroin. Healey said drug cartels have figured out how to manufacture fentanyl and are sending it out on the streets where many heroin addicts are unknowingly using it.

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Confirmation that the overdose deaths of two brothers found dead in Burlington last month was caused by the high-powered drug fentanyl has re-focused attention in Vermont on the drug that can be 100 times more powerful than morphine.