Assemblyman Matt Slater (R,C-Yorktown) joined local elected officials and stakeholder groups for a roundtable discussion on the impacts of fentanyl and opioids locally, trends in drug abuse and associated demographics, ancillary mental health issues, the need for state and federal funding and collaborative efforts to implement solutions to the epidemic at the Carmel Town Hall on Thursday, April 13, 2023. In attendance were Rep. Mike Lawler (R-Rockland), Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne, State Sen. Rob Rolison (R-Poughkeepsie), The Prevention Council of Putnam, Alliance for Safe Kids, Drug Crisis in our Backyard, Arms Acres and others.
“This is no doubt a full-blown epidemic that is affecting every demographic across the board,” Slater said. “Cheap and deadly fentanyl is replacing and being mixed with almost every conventional street drug in our community, leading to countless overdoses and deaths that we are witnessing almost daily.
“Working with our local partners, we need to take a multi-pronged approach that includes more funding for rehab and detox centers, education as early as middle school on the horrors of these drugs, locks up drug dealers with heavy sentences and help those who are struggling with addiction find a sober path forward with plenty of support and empathy. It will truly take a comprehensive community effort to defeat this monster,” Slater finished.