Legislation is part of $213 million statewide investment package signed by Governor Cuomo 
Long Island, NY – When the use of heroin and opioid began to increase dramatically across the Hudson Valley, Senator Terrence Murphy was the first elected official to call for legislation to stem the rising tide of what would become an epidemic. He took action, first by serving as Co-Chair of the State Senate’s Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Abuse and by passing legislation to promote prevention, treatment recovery and education to help citizens caught in the grip of addiction.
Senator Murphy’s diligent efforts came to fruition today when he stood alongside Governor Andrew Cuomo as the Governor signed legislation investing over $200 million to combat the plague of heroin and opioid dependency in New York State. The Mid-Hudson Valley will receive $19 million.
“Too many lives have been ruined by the influx of heroin and opioid invading our communities,” said Senator Murphy. “No one is immune to this epidemic. We now have the ammunition to fight for our children and our families. This increase in funding gives us the financial clout to empower our communities through enhanced prevention, treatment and recovery options.”
In 2016, the Governor signed into law a comprehensive plan first put forward by Senator Murphy’s task force to increase access to treatment, expand community prevention strategies, and limit the over-prescription of opioids in New York. Just last week, United States Senators Kirstin Gillibrand and John McCain introduced identical legislation on the federal level, proving the measures passed stand as a national model in America’s efforts to combat this terrible epidemic.
The FY 2018 Budget builds on this progress by investing over $200 million to support prevention, treatment and recovery programs targeted toward chemical dependency, residential service opportunities, and public awareness and education activities. The funding supports opioid treatment slots, 24/7 urgent access centers, community coalitions, family support navigators, peer engagement programs, adolescent clubhouses and community and outreach centers.
Overdose deaths involving all opioids continues to rise in New York. The number of opioid deaths in 2015 doubled compared to the number in 2010 and the number of heroin involved deaths in 2015 was five times of that in 2010. In addition, there has been a higher increase in opioid deaths between 2010 and 2015 outside of New York City, with sharper increase in heroin related deaths outside of NYC.
Since Senator Murphy arrived in Albany, a series of aggressive reforms to combat heroin and opioid addiction have been implemented, including:
*Limiting initial opioid prescriptions for acute pain from 30 to 7 days.
*Expanding insurance coverage for substance use disorder treatment.
*Increasing access and enhancing treatment capacity across the state, including a major expansion of opioid treatment and recovery services.
*Launching a public awareness and prevention campaign to inform New Yorkers about the dangers of heroin use and opioid misuse and the disease of addiction.
*Assembling a task force to propose initiatives to tackle the heroin and opioid epidemic.