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SCI Represented at Passage of “Fend off Fentanyl” Act

July 31, 2023

On Friday July 28, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced the Senate passage of the FEND Off Fentanyl Act, to stop the supply of the deadly drug at its source.

Senator Gillibrand announced the bipartisan legislation at Philipstown Town Hall, along with a group that included St. Christopher’s Inn Executive Director Dr. James Schiller and three Brothers Christopher from St. Christopher’s Inn.

Also present were Congressman Mike Lawler; State Senator Rob Rolison; Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne; Putnam County Legislator Nancy Montgomery; and Village of Cold Spring Police Department Officer in Charge Larry Burke.

The FEND Off Fentanyl Act is legislation that would help reduce fentanyl overdoses. Fentanyl is a lethal drug deemed a “silent killer” that cannot be detected by taste, smell, or sight when mixed with other drugs. The synthetic opioid is 50 times stronger than heroin. Last year, the Drug Enforcement Administration seized over 379,000,000 deadly doses of fentanyl across the U.S. – enough to supply a lethal dose to every American.

“Here at St. Christopher’s Inn, we see the consequences of the substance use epidemic on a daily basis, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, impacting people across the socio-economic spectrum. No one is excluded,” Dr. Schiller said.

County Legislator Nancy Montgomery, a friend of St. Christopher’s Inn with family impacted by this scourge, said: “Philipstown continues to lose family members and loved ones. Fentanyl hit the streets in the Hudson Valley in 2013 and continues to wreak havoc on our tiny little community. The number one question my constituents ask is, ‘Why can’t we go after the individuals producing and trafficking fentanyl?’ Our hearts are broken, and our hands have been tied, until now. I am beyond grateful that Senator Gillibrand is bringing this important bipartisan legislation to the table.”

Hudson Valley New York State Senator Rob Rolison added: “With New York and our country in the midst of the worst drug crisis in our history, we need every tool at our disposal to check the international cartels and cut off their funding. I am grateful to Senator Gillibrand for supporting bipartisan federal legislation which would empower the executive branch to take the fight to the drug traffickers and kingpins poisoning our country. As a former police officer, I will continue to stand with those who support consensus solutions to enhance the health, safety, and well-being of New Yorkers in the face of this fentanyl epidemic.”

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