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Long Island Congresswoman Introduces Bill To Curb Illegal Fentanyl Production

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Tom Gannam
/
AP

U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice from Long Island has reintroduced a bill that would help stop illegal manufacturing of the synthetic opioid fentanyl. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the lab-made drug contributed to a 30% spike in overdose deaths last year.

Rice said illicit drug makers are able to skirt the law by altering a single molecule of an illegal substance. It creates a new version of a drug that has not yet been outlawed.

Her bill would allow for a temporary ban of an altered drug, pending more time-consuming testing, research and analysis.

She said the proposal also helps law enforcement respond more rapidly to the fast-paced modification of synthetic drugs.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.