Statement by Attorney General Josh Stein on National Fentanyl Awareness Day

For immediate release:
Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Contact: Nazneen Ahmed

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein issued the following statement today on National Fentanyl Awareness Day (May 9).

“Today, I think of the thousands of North Carolinians who lost their lives from a fentanyl overdose, and their families and friends, and their grief. May their memories be a blessing.

“In North Carolina, an average of eight people die each day from this deadly and highly addictive drug. We must do more to save lives. It means using the hundreds of millions of dollars I secured in the National Opioid Settlement to help people struggling with addiction and prevent drug traffickers and dealers from obtaining and selling fentanyl.”

Attorney General Stein is leading negotiations to secure $50 billion nationwide in lawsuits against drug companies that helped start and fuel the opioid crisis, of which North Carolina will receive $1.4 billion. North Carolina and local governments have begun receiving the first payments from his $26 billion contracts with the three largest drug distributors and Johnson & Johnson. Additional funding will come from his $21 billion settlement with CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Allergan, and Teva.

Attorney General Stein has led statewide efforts to address the fentanyl epidemic.

  1. It is seeking funding from Congress to create a Fentanyl Control Unit within the Justice Department to help district attorneys handle large-scale fentanyl trafficking, wiretapping, and overdose cases.
  2. Work with Senator Tom McInnis to draft the Counterfeit Tablets Prevention Act (SB206), which updates North Carolina law to address counterfeit tablets and tablet presses containing fentanyl, methamphetamine, or other dangerous drugs. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and is currently pending in the House of Representatives.
  3. Worked with Congressman Hugh Blackwell and others to draft the New Opioid Control Act (HB258). The bill passed the House unanimously and would update state law to protect North Carolinians from nitadine, a class of opioids 40 times more potent than fentanyl.
  4. Refurbish the State Crime Lab’s Drug Chemistry and Toxicology Section so scientists can quickly and efficiently test evidence critical to law enforcement investigations.


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