Article Contributed by
The Office of Assemblyman Andy Goodell
Assemblyman Goodell (R,C,I-Jamestown) is calling upon the New York Assembly to pass comprehensive, bipartisan legislation to address the heroin epidemic before the end of this year’s session.
“Drug addiction destroys individuals, families and our community,” said Goodell. “It is absolutely heart-wrenching to hear the stories of parents who have lost their children to a drug overdose, or to hear about people who have lost their job, destroyed their marriage and ruined their lives because of drug addition.”
The negative effects of the drug crisis are not limited to those with addiction. A substantial amount of neighborhood crime is related to the drug trade, including an increase in burglaries, home invasions and drug-related violence.
Goodell has co-sponsored a number of bipartisan bills to address the heroin crisis, including bills that would:
- Require insurance companies to cover at least seven days of detox treatment and 30 days of rehabilitation services,
- Limit the amount of opioids prescribed at one time,
Require patients to receive informational materials from a pharmacy or hospital about the dangers of addiction and sources for help whenever they receive a prescription for opioids,
- Expand the amount of data collected regarding drug overdoses,
- Extend the time period that an individual can be held for substance abuse emergency care from 24 to 78 hours and establish involuntary commitment criteria, thereby ensuring that more addicts receive appropriate treatment,
- Establish assisted outpatient treatment for those with a substance abuse disorder, and
- Provide that possession of 40 or more bags of heroin is presumptive evidence of an intent to sell, thereby increasing the severity of the crime.
The legislation supported by Goodell is in addition to his support earlier this year of $166 million in funding for the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), which includes $25 million specifically for opioid and heroin treatment and prevention.
Last year, Goodell voted for legislation to make Narcan available in schools and other locations, with protection from liability for the good faith use of this life-saving drug.
This year, the Senate, with the support of Senator Young, enacted a comprehensive set of bills to address the heroin crisis, but the Democrat Assembly Majority has blocked any action on these important bills.
“The time for action is now,” said Goodell. “We cannot afford to wait while people die from overdoses or because of a lack of prevention and treatment services. I urge all my colleagues to adopt this legislation this session. We have the power to do more, and I will not stop fighting until this legislation is enacted.”
Goodell, who participated in the Minority Task Force on Heroin addiction, encourages those seeking more information on the Assembly Minority’s commitment to read The Heroin Epidemic – A Report on Heroin Use, Treatment, Prevention & Education Efforts in NYS. The report provides solutions that would protect our communities and provide those suffering from addiction with much-needed resources to be rehabilitated.