State lawmakers hope new bill will curb fatal drug overdoses

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New York state lawmakers have passed a bill they hope will decrease the amount of fatal overdoses.

Recent findings from the National Institute on Drug Abuse show more than 3,000 people in New York state died of drug overdoses in 2017. The institute says the numbers grow higher each year.

Renee Ostrander, of Blauvelt in Rockland County, says prescribed pain medication led to her brother Brad's 14-year addiction to street drugs. She says his addiction caused him to lose everything – including his life.

Lawmakers created the Heroin and Opioid Task Force and passed the Good Samaritan Law, which protects people from liability if they call 911 or administer Narcan to another person experiencing a drug overdose.

Lawmakers say many people don't know about the law, which is why they passed a new bill requiring such information to be included in Narcan kits.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that for the first time in a decade, opioid deaths among residents outside of New York City decreased by almost 16% in 2018. Lawmakers hope this new law will continue the downward trend.

After her brother's death, Ostrander kick-started an annual fundraiser to support recovery homes. Her event is coming up Sunday in Orangeburg.

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