Fentanyl state of emergency update

Local News

Broome County officials say they’re pioneering new strategies to address the ongoing fentanyl state of emergency.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar was joined by District Attorney Steve Cornwell, Public Health Director Rebecca Kaufman and Emergency Services Director Michael Ponticello to discuss the status of the 2 week old declared State of Emergency.

Garnar made the executive order 2 weeks ago in response to a rash of overdose deaths in the county attributed to the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

Officials believe many of the O-D’s are the result of cocaine laced with the drug.

Ponticello says his office is overseeing the distribution of more overdose antidotes Narcan and training more people how to use them.

And Cornwell says his office has put a higher priority on fentanyl cases, treating them with the same intensity as homicides.

The DA says he’s also found a new source of testing for autopsy toxicology results that can speed the process and better trace the source of the deadly drugs. “Get everybody together, get the team together, and respond to any of these issues with all the different departments, all the different public and private entities and advocacy groups, to address the problem as it comes in and not hide from it like has been done in the past.”

The health department has produced a public service announcement that is running on local TV and radio stations alerting the public and encouraging greater utilization of Narcan.

Cornwell says his office has also had good results collaborating with local police agencies, New York City Police and federal law enforcement.

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