An extreme plan to stop fentanyl overdose deaths in New Jersey

Fentanyl is a strong synthetic opioid that doctors use to treat severe and advanced cancer pain.

It’s also used by drug dealers and cartels to boost the spikes users get from heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and every other substance you can think of, and it’s causing a huge spike in opioid overdose deaths in New Jersey and across the country.

Senator Paul Sarlow, a Democrat from Bergen, is pushing a plan to eliminate the massive amount of fentanyl flowing into the Garden State.

“A lot of these drug dealers flog marijuana and other drugs with fentanyl, so the user doesn’t realize it but they get the fentanyl, I want to make it a first-degree crime, it’s not like selling marijuana to someone,” he said.

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Sarlo is sponsoring legislation (no invoice number yet) that would make selling, possessing, or manufacturing more than 10 grams of fentanyl a first-degree crime, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $200.00.

His measure also states that selling or possessing any amount of fentanyl up to 10 fines would be a second-degree crime, which carries a penalty of 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

A man in the hands behind the prison holding the bars of the prison steel cage. Imprisonment of the criminal offender in prison.

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This may sound harsh, he said, but it is “a volatile and deadly drug, and those who inject or inhale fentanyl run the risk of immediate death.”

Fentanyl is dangerous even when touched because it can be absorbed by the skin.

“It’s very deadly, it’s not about drug addiction, this is about killing someone, it’s not the same as taking out a gun and shooting someone,” he said.

Susan Gibson, the special agent in charge of the New Jersey Drug Enforcement Agency, warned Garden State residents that no more than 2 milligrams of fentanyl mixed with the drug can kill you in seconds.

She said the DEA has now begun investigating drug overdose deaths, and if they were caused by taking fentanyl, the case would not be treated as accidental but as a homicide.

“Those pushing fentanyl on the street, it’s almost like a license to literally kill,” Sarlo said.

He said the Bergen County District Attorney’s Office recently arrested a man who was in possession of 15 pounds of fentanyl, enough to produce an estimated 3.5 million fatal doses.

More than 3,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2021 in New Jersey, according to the state medical examiner, and law enforcement officials have warned the total could rise even higher this year.

David Mathew, New Jersey Reporter 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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