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Senator Heinrich "I Will Not Stop Fighting" the Fentanyl Epidemic

New Mexico Senator Matin Heinrich
New Mexico Senator Matin Heinrich

Senator Martin Heinrich held a press conference today to address the Fentanyl Epidemic.

He said the situation is urgent.

“In New Mexico, we have the 6th highest rate of overdose deaths in the entire country. Enough is enough. Any person lost to this crisis is one too many. We need an all-hands-on-deck approach to tackle this emergency with the urgency it demands.”

Senator Heinrich said he's working to get New Mexicans on the frontlines of the epidemic additional support.

“My work in Congress is to make sure that they are getting the tools and the legislative support that they need to do the work, day in and day out. And that starts with the important step of permanently scheduling fentanyl related substances as a schedule one under our controlled substances. The way that we schedule substances sends a clear signal to the public about how dangerous they are. And it creates a clear criminal deterrent to would-be bad actors.”

The Senator has also secured fiscal resources for the fight.

“I’m proud to have successfully delivered substantial investments to help New Mexicans on the front lines of this crisis. That includes more than a million dollars to help law enforcement agencies in New Mexico purchase equipment to safely identify fentanyl and other illicit substances. “

Senator Heinrich secured a provision in the appropriation bill that requires the development of a tracking system.

“To Require the DEA to develop a comprehensive nationwide fentanyl tracking system. This new comprehensive tracking system will be critical to a better understanding of the movement of illicit drugs into and within the United States. And more effectively combating the fentanyl drug epidemic. This system will track and document where fentanyl is seized, the chemical composition of seized substances, the probable or known manufacturing locations, and the probable or known points of entry into the United States."

The Senator said he is committed to the battle against the fentanyl epidemic.

“I won't stop fighting until we deliver the resources our law enforcement officers, our first responders, our medical providers, and New Mexicans on the front lines need to address this epidemic.”

Shantar Baxter Clinton is the hourly News Reporter for KSFR. He’s earned an Associates of the Arts from Bard College at Simons Rock and a Bachelors in journalism with a minor in anthropology from the University of Maine.