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Attorney General Stein And Charlotte Leaders Combat Growing Fentanyl Crisis

SourceWFAE 

Last week, state and local leaders held a press conference to lay out their efforts to mitigate the fentanyl epidemic.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, overdose deaths have dramatically increased in recent years, with 2021 marking the highest number of overdose deaths in a single year on record.

Last year, nearly 3,400 North Carolinians lost their lives in fentanyl-related overdoses — or more than nine a day, according to the CDC

The NCDHS has linked the rise in overdose deaths to the increase in illegally manufactured fentanyl. 

For state Democrats, finding solutions to address the epidemic has been a priority. 

“The crisis, as we all know, started with the opioid companies that hooked millions of Americans on the pills. The second wave was heroin. And we’re now in the third and deadliest wave, which is fentanyl,” stated North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, during the press conference

In recent years, Attorney General Josh Stein has led efforts to combat the fentanyl crisis.

According to WFAE, AG Stein has taken large drugmakers to court, while his office helped convene a fentanyl task force in collaboration with federal, state, local law enforcement.

The attorney general’s office has also helped draft the Stop Counterfeit Pill Act, which makes it a felony to possess pill presses used to make counterfeit pills in North Carolina. 

For Mecklenburg County, Attorney General Stein is hoping to further advance the fight against fentanyl. Local leaders have already taken the first steps, with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg department targeting young North Carolinians through their anti-fentanyl campaign, “No Cap, Those Pills Are Sus”.

Other prominent local Democrats, including Mecklenburg County District Attorney Spencer Merriweather; Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden; and U.S. Attorney for Western North Carolina, Dena King, have led efforts to crack down on fentanyl deaths and distribution.

The attorney general announced more than $73 million in aid to support further treatment, recovery, prevention, and harm reduction efforts happening in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. 

“What I am convinced about is that there will be more people alive and healthy and well here in Mecklenburg County because of the good work that’s going to happen here locally to address the crisis,” Attorney General Stein stated. “I’m grateful for law enforcement and prosecutors across the state who are charging head on toward this problem, because we can make a difference.”

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