The Orange County Legislature unanimously passed a resolution by a vote of 18-0 that calls for New York State to classify as controlled substances certain Fentanyl “analogues” responsible for opioid overdose deaths. Approximately 102 people in Orange County have died this year due to opioid overdoses. Eighteen of these overdoses were the result, in part, of the deceased’s use of one or more fentanyl analogues that were not controlled substances and were not illegal when the deceased used them.
Deputy County Executive Harry Porr, District Attorney David Hoovler, Sheriff Carl E. DuBois, Commissioner of Mental Health and Social Services Darcie Miller, Assemblyman Karl Brabenec, and Assemblyman-elect Jonathan Jacobson also attended the Legislative session. Families who have lost loved ones to opioid overdoses involving Fentanyl also were present in the Legislative chambers.
Fentanyl “analogues” are drugs that have been designed to mimic the pharmacological effects of fentanyl, but that are not controlled substances in the State of New York because they are not listed on the appropriate schedules that classify controlled substances in New York State Public Health Law Section 3306. According to Hoovler, the ability of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute sellers of deadly opioid drugs is hampered by the gap in the law that results in some fentanyl analogues not being classified as controlled substances because the New York State Legislature has not added those analogues to the appropriate Public Health Law schedules.