By Krista McNally | Updated June 20, 2023 | Source: News 12 Long Island

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was on Long Island Tuesday to announce a bipartisan bill to curb fentanyl overdoses.

The FEND Off Fentanyl Act would allow local law enforcement to get more resources to track the source of the drug and locate the supply chains.

"It would empower law enforcement to better address this situation, it would declare the international trafficking of fentanyl is a national emergency and require President Biden to sanction key members of criminal organizations," Gillibrand says.

The Drug Enforcement Administration seized 379,000,000 deadly doses of fentanyl in the United States in 2022. In Nassau County, the drug was involved in 70% of overdose deaths in 2021, Gillibrand says.

Carole Trottere, who lost her son Alex to a heroin and fentanyl overdose in 2018, stood with Gillibrand and Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder in support of the bill.

"We must hit them where it hurts and that is what this bill will do," Trottere says. "It will save lives and prevent parents from becoming a member of that club that nobody wants to join."

Fentanyl is a silent killer that cannot be detected by taste, smell or sight when mixed with other drugs. In 2021, nearly twice as many people died from synthetic opioids than car crashes.