Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced a statewide effort to crack down what he called New York State’s growing heroin epidemic.
“This state has a serious problem with heroin,” Cuomo said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo
The Governor’s proposal included making the overdose-treating drug naloxone available to all first responder units in the state, and an additional 100 investigators to help combat drug dealing. These additions will nearly double the amount of officers currently on the State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team.
Cuomo said he wanted first responders and State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Teams to be armed with the brand name drug Narcan, a version of naloxone.
“Naloxone is an emergency treatment that blocks the effects of opioids on the body, and can reverse the effects of an overdose,” according to a press release from Cuomo’s office. “It works by temporarily reversing the effects of the opioid, whether illicit or prescription, allowing the individual to regain consciousness and resume normal breathing.”
According to the press release, naloxone can quickly reverse life-threatening effects of overdosing, sometimes in only a few minutes, and “poses no danger to persons who otherwise might come into contact with it and it is not the kind of medication that can be abused.”
According to Cuomo, heroin is disproportionately affecting youth and college-aged young adults, meaning colleges and parents play an important role in preventing heroin abuse.
“It starts in the home and with the parents, and with friends and neighbors and if you suspect a person has an issue, do something,” Cuomo said.
Read more from the press release below:
In addition to the increased State Police presence, the Governor also announced the launch of an awareness and support campaign involving all SUNY campuses that includes:
·Making heroin and opioid awareness part of every incoming student orientation, as well as at other key moments in students’ college experience;
·Training all resident assistants and other support staff who deal with students on a regular basis in the warning signs of possible prescription drug or heroin abuse, including recognizing the risk factors and signs of heroin and opioid abuse when they seem them and clearing up misconceptions about the signs and severity of heroin and opioid use and abuse;
·Ensuring that all students who are seeking treatment for prescription drug or heroin abuse receive all necessary services, including through the launch of a hotline/textline and encouraging anonymous and no-fault reporting when someone needs help;
·State Police will assist all University Police and community college law enforcement departments on trafficking patterns, signs of prescription drug and heroin abuse, and best practices in handling those believed to be under the influence of either substance, and;
·Training University police and health centers in how to administer naloxone and ensuring access to a supply for use by trained staff.
Governor Cuomo signed legislation Monday to combat the growth of heroin and opioid use in New York State. This bill includes new programs and insurance reforms to give more treatment options to those suffering from addiction, measures that strengthen penalties, assist law enforcement to crack down on the selling and distribution of illegal drugs, and provisions to ensure the proper use of naloxone, a drug that works to reverse the effects of an overdose.
Governor Cuomo signed into law Monday a bill to combat the growth of heroin and opioid use in New York State. The bill includes new programs and insurance reforms to give more treatment options to those suffering from addiction. It also includes measures designed to assist law enforcement crack down on drug dealing, and provisions to promote the use of naloxone, a drug that works to reverse the effects of an overdose.
“Heroin has become a public health crisis in communities across the nation, but today New York State is taking a stand to turn the tide on this epidemic,” Governor Cuomo said in a press release.