Joint Statement on Bill Combating Opioid Epidemic Being Signed into Law
Raleigh, N.C. — On Thursday, Senate Bill 189, “Fentanyl Drug Offenses and Related Changes,” was signed into law.
The legislation significantly increases the fines for trafficking heroin, fentanyl, or carfentanil, expands the current Death by Distribution law, modifies the Good Samaritan Immunity Law, and creates a new Task Force on Enforcement of Fentanyl and Heroin Drug Violations.
Bill sponsors Sens. Tom McInnis (R-Moore), Danny Earl Britt, Jr. (R-Robeson), and Michael Lazzara (R-Onslow) released the following joint statement on Senate Bill 189 becoming law:
“The drug and fentanyl epidemic is one of the most important fights facing us right now. Families and communities are being destroyed, and we need to act. Our bill is supported by local law enforcement and district attorneys, and will hit back at these drugs and drug dealers, but we must have law and order at the federal level. The Biden administration needs to start taking the opioid epidemic seriously and secure the Southern border.”
Bill sponsors held a press conference in March highlighting the need for legislation to combat the overdose epidemic. There were over 4,000 drug overdose deaths in North Carolina in 2021, the highest number of overdose deaths in a single year. According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, more than 77% of those deaths likely involved fentanyl.