NY lawmakers must OK more than just Narcan to fight fentanyl

POLITICS: NY lawmakers must OK more than just Narcan to fight fentanyl

Good news: Fentanyl overdose “revival” drugs are saving lives across the country.

Bad news: Opioid-related OD deaths are soaring in New York (from 18 in 1999 to 4,950 in 2022) and it often takes four or five doses of Narcan to revive fentanyl victims — yet the state refuses to get behind better, fentanyl-specific drugs.

Why? Policy is dominated not by true public-health specialists, but by harm-reduction ideologues who worry that the other “rescue” drugs have unpleasant side effects for heroine addicts.


New York state refuses to embrace better, fentanyl-specific drugs to fight overdoses, the Post Editorial Board writes. AP Photo/Leah Willingham, File

Some 27 other states are using FDA-approved OD “reversal” drugs more effective than Naloxone in combating synthetic opioids, such as Opvee.

Narcan was originally developed to reverse heroin overdoses; relying on it made sense back in 2017, when 80% of ODs were heroin-related.

But fentanyl and other synthetic opioids — now mixed into all manner of recreational drugs favored by casual users — have become the major killer.

The state can still keep Naloxone available for EMTs and so on, to use when it seems the best treatment, but it’s outrageous that it blocks drugs that are better and faster-acting against the leading cause of ODs.

Gov. Hochul should order her Health Department and OASAS (Office of Addiction Services and Supports) to embrace all FDA-approved overdose treatments.

Don’t let the ideologues stand in the way of saving lives.

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