Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation this month requiring death certificates in cases of opioid overdose specify which opioid was involved in the death, if known. This new law requires that information be recorded so that more data will be available to better address the opioid crisis.
“New York has taken the most aggressive actions to combat the opioid crisis of any other state in the country,” Cuomo said. “This commonsense law will go a great length to ensure we have the most accurate information to be able to stop this public health scourge once and for all.”
Under current law, if a person dies of an opioid overdose, there is no requirement that the death certificate specify which opioid was involved. The legislation signed took effect immediately.
“The opioid crisis continues to wreak havoc in communities across our state, claiming countless lives each and every year. It has shown us that addiction knows no bounds and will often hold its victims powerless until it’s too late,” Assemblyman Fred Thiele said. “We must continue to do everything we can to prevent addiction, increase access to treatment, and ensure those suffering are not forgotten or ignored. This new commonsense law requires the disclosure of the specific type of opioid that caused the death of an individual on a death certificate, and provides us with another useful tool to better understand and combat the opioid crisis.”
Senator John Brooks said the nation has been faced with the issue for far too long.
“There was no requirement that the death certificate include the specific opioid involved. This has led to a lack of information about which types of opioids are the most deadly,” Brooks said. “By recording this information, more data will be available to better track which opioids are causing the most deaths, and more communities in need will be better equipped to combat the crisis.”