Fentanyl overwhelms NY state capitol
Following a trend seen across the country, fentanyl has become “the new heroin” in the Albany region. Cheaper and stronger than heroin, fentanyl has been driving an increase in overdose deaths since 2013, federal data revealed this year.
The white powder, largely imported from China, is now so commonly found in illicit drugs in the Capital Region that those responding to overdoses or trying to prevent them just assume that’s what they’re dealing with.
“I hear estimates that eight or nine out of 10 bags of heroin these days are going to have fentanyl in them,” said Joseph Filippone, director of Project Safe Point, an Albany-based syringe exchange program.
“I live it every day,” said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple. “Trust me, it’s not getting any better.”
One program that is trying to make an impact is Project Safe Point – focused on harm reduction — not eliminating drug use but limiting its harmful effects. The program is looking into distributing fentanyl test strips to users along with clean supplies. The strips, in use in other communities across the country, detect the presence of fentanyl in a batch of drugs.
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To learn more about how fentanyl is slamming the Albany region, please visit the Times Union.