Anti-Fentanyl Bill Signed In Texas Hopes to Save Lives
Opiod abuse is taking lives everyday, but new legislation will enact harsher laws for those manufacturing and distributing fentanyl in Texas.
According to a press release from the office of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Senate Bill 768 was ceremonially signed into law at the Crime Stoppers of Houston headquarters on July 21, 2021.
The Governor was joined for the bill signing ceremony by Senator Joan Huffman, who authored the bill, and the Crime Stoppers of Houston Deputy Director Nichole Christoph. The bill was initially filed February 23, 2021 and was actually signed by Governor Abbott over a month ago on June 14, 2021.
Fentanyl is, "a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent," according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Fentanyl abuse has led to a dramatic rise in overdoses in recent years. Some Fentanyl overdoses have even taken some of the most influential celebrities such as:
- Tom Petty, 66 - 2016
- Prince, 57, - 2016
- Lil Peep, 21 - 2017
- Mac Miller, 26 - 2018
- Shock G, 57 - 2021
"We have a duty to fight back against the scourge that is fentanyl in our communities, which is why I proudly signed Senate Bill 768 into law," stated Governor Abbott.
"Last year, deaths from drug overdoses skyrocketed to 93,000, which was driven by the rise of fentanyl. This year alone, the Texas Department of Public Safety has seized enough fentanyl to kill every person in Texas and California combined — a 950% increase compared to last year."
Painkillers are thought to be safe, but can easily be abused. The opioid crisis is still on-going, and just recently a $26 billion settlement with Johnson & Johnson and three of the country's largest drug distributors (Cardinal Health, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen) was reached regarding their roles in the U.S. opioid epidemic.