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New York lawmakers push for stronger overdose reversal drugs amid rising fatalities

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  • Staff Report 

New York legislators, both Republicans and Democrats, have introduced urgent legislation to require the state to procure more potent opioid reversal drugs. This action comes in response to the escalating number of overdose deaths, which exceeded 6,300 in 2022, largely due to the spread of fentanyl-laced substances. The proposed bills aim to enhance the effectiveness of the state’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Program by expanding the range of available antagonist medications.


The initiative, catalyzed by the devastating statistics on overdoses, seeks to amend current health policies to include all opioid antagonists approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Senator Pete Harckham, alongside Assemblyman Phil Steck, highlighted the necessity of including these comprehensive medical tools to better equip first responders and the public in combating overdose incidents.

As the legislative session nears its end, the urgency to pass these measures intensifies. Assemblyman Keith Brown introduced a compromise bill to expedite the adoption process, advocating for flexibility in choosing appropriate doses during emergency responses. This legislative effort underscores a broader commitment to address the opioid crisis holistically, with state health officials ensuring that any new measures align with scientific standards and practical efficacy in saving lives.