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New York ranks fourth in nation for fentanyl deaths, study finds

A new study found New York ranked fourth in the nation for fentanyl deaths last year.

Families Against Fentanyl, a non-profit raising awareness about the drug’s use, authored the study that found fentanyl deaths are rising across the U.S., doubling in at least 30 states over the past two years, according to Albany Times-Union.

Reported number of deaths tripled in the teen population between 2019 and 2021. Among the population of Black teens, the rate of deaths was five times higher.

From 2015 to 2021, fentanyl deaths rose 486% across New York, the report states. In that same time frame, the drug was a factor in 14,464 deaths.

“The fentanyl crisis is getting worse, not better,” said James Rauh, founder of Families Against Fentanyl, in a written statement. “Fake pills with deadly amounts of fentanyl are popping up everywhere. It’s in fake Xanax and Percocets, it’s being laced in cocaine and ecstasy. Fentanyl poisoning is tearing families apart and killing our young people at an alarming rate.”

In December 2021, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill that aims to expand medication-assisted treatment to help those dealing with substance abuse.