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NY Senate Task Force Moves to Attack Heroin Epidemic

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Intranasal Naloxone spray, used to reverse the effects of a heroin or prescription painkiller overdose. Intranasal Naloxone spray, used to reverse the effects of a heroin or prescription painkiller overdose. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

A Republican-led Senate task force has released a package of bills aimed at combating the growing problem of heroin addiction in New York.

The bills would require schools to carry supplies of Naloxone, the drug used to treat heroin overdoses and in many cases, prevent death. They would also require better management of patients treated for drug addiction, and convert some recently closed state prisons to treatment centers.

Task Force leader and Chair of the Senate Alcohol and Drug Abuse Committee Phil Boyle said he hopes Democrats in the Assembly agree to the package in the remaining weeks of the session. Otherwise, he said further action should be taken to achieve new laws.

“I would actually call on the governor to call a special session of the state legislature to deal with the heroin and opioid situation,” Boyle said. “But hopefully we would not need that.”
 
In a statement, the leader of the Senate Democrats, Andrea Stewart Cousins, said “heroin and opioid abuse is not a Republican or Democratic issue," and that she hopes to come to an agreement on joint legislation soon.

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