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Nov 12, 2019 1:16 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

New Legislation Requiring Opioid To Be Specified on Death Certificates

Governor Andrew Cuomo DANA SHAW
Nov 14, 2019 12:58 PM

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation earlier this month that requires the specific opioid involved in a fatal overdose case to appear on the death certificate of the victim.

According to a press release distributed by the governor’s office, the legislation was intended to record more data to better address the opioid crisis.

“New York has taken the most aggressive actions to combat the opioid crisis of any other state in the country,” Mr. Cuomo said in the press release. “This common sense law will go a great length to ensure we have the most accurate information to be able to stop this public health scourge once and for all.”

The legislation took effect the day it was signed, on November 5. State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., who supported the measure, said he believes that it can only help to combat the issue of opioid addiction.

“The opioid crisis continues to wreak havoc in communities across our state, claiming countless lives each and every year,” Mr. Thiele said. “It has shown us that addiction knows no bounds and will often hold its victims powerless until it’s too late. We must continue to do everything we can to prevent addiction, increase access to treatment and ensure those suffering are not forgotten or ignored.

“This new common sense law requires the disclosure of the specific type of opioid that caused the death of an individual on a death certificate, and provides us with another useful tool to better understand and combat the opioid crisis,” he added.

Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki said the new rule can be beneficial to the police force.

“It’s of interest to us to know which type of opioid caused the death,” he said. “That assists us in determining trends, which can also be beneficial to us in terms of trafficking intelligence.”

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