By RYAN WICKER
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed landmark legislation sponsored by State Senator Terrence Murphy this week to combat the heroin and opioid crisis in New York State. The comprehensive package of bills was passed as part of the 2016 Legislative Session and marks a major step forward in the fight to increase access to treatment, expand community prevention strategies, and limit the over-prescription of opioids in New York. The legislation includes several best practices and recommendations identified by the Governor’s Heroin and Opioid Task Force, and builds on the state’s aggressive efforts to break the cycle of heroin and opioid addiction and protect public health and safety. The Governor signed the sweeping legislation, touring the state and visiting the epicenters of the crisis, at events in Buffalo, Long Island and Staten Island.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said in his remarks, “We did a lot of great work. But I think the piece of legislation that is going to affect the most people is what we have done here on heroin and opioid overdose. It is a crisis in this state. It is a crisis in this country. It is a crisis where the numbers are frightening. The numbers are increasing exponentially and nothing that we’ve done thus far has made a difference. 85,000 people hospitalized with opioid overdoses, and if it wasn’t for NARCAN, we would have lost even more lives. In truth, kudos to the Senate, they raised this issue very early on. Senator Terrence Murphy was on a task force that went all across the state working on this. They came up with a really intelligent plan, and that’s the plan that we are enacting into law today with the appropriate funding.”
“Too many lives have been cut short as result of this devastating public health crisis,” Senator Murphy said. “By limiting opioid prescriptions, eliminating insurance barriers to treatment and expanding support for New Yorkers in recovery, this legislation builds on this state’s aggressive efforts to combat heroin addiction and reverse the trends of this deadly epidemic. I was proud to be a member of the Governor’s Task Force and I thank the Governor for his commitment to building a safer and healthier New York. This is a critical step in helping those in need get on the path to recovery and improving the lives of our most vulnerable New Yorkers.”
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