Combating the Heroin/Opioid Crisis

This is by far the fastest growing crisis across New York State. Addiction can happen to anyone, any family, at any time. As a practicing pharmacist, I know firsthand the challenges individuals face with prescription opiate abuse and street heroin abuse. This is a priority of mine and I have been pleased to have sponsored legislation that was signed into law that provides treatment for opioid addiction. The bill authorizes the creation of a demonstration program with the goal to divert those who do not need in-hospital treatment to more appropriate services and facilities for detox. This will reduce emergency room costs, provide alternative short-term care, and test the effectiveness of new approaches to treatment options. I continue to sponsor and support legislation to address other longstanding issues including insurance reforms to improve treatment options for individuals suffering from addiction, measures to increase penalties on those who sell or provide opiates or heroin illegally, provisions to provide naloxone, which is an overdose antidote, to those who need it, and a public awareness campaign to further educate and share the message to prevent drug abuse.