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    Albany, N.Y. – 06/20/2014 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I –Patterson) joined his colleagues in the New York State Senate to pass a package of bills this week that addresses the growing heroin and opioid crisis. The legislation targets prevention, treatment and enforcement issues related to the drugs.

    In March 2014, Senator Greg Ball was appointed to the Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction. The bipartisan task force, chaired by Senator Phil Boyle (R-C-I, Suffolk County), examined the issues and solicited input from experts and other stakeholders about addiction prevention and treatment options, the rise in heroin and opioid use, and the potential for drug-related crimes and other negative community impacts.

    “I am very excited to see this legislation pass after serving on the task force to combat our heroin epidemic. The heroin and opioid problem that has plagued our communities must be confronted head on,” said Senator Greg Ball. “It is sickening to read and hear of the countless deaths in our community. The passing of these bills is the first step in putting an end to the tragedy these substances have caused.”

    In April 2014, Senator Ball hosted a Homeland Security Drug Crisis Roundtable in conjunction with the Senate Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction at the Paladin Center Tactical Training Facility in Carmel, NY.

    The comprehensive package of 11 bills that passed this week included increasing public awareness, establishing school drug prevention programs, increasing the effectiveness of overdose prevention, increasing availability of addiction treatment, establishing relapse prevention programs, enabling parents to seek services for children suffering from substance abuse, promoting affordability of substance abuse programs and providing additional resources to law enforcement.

    “Aggressive law enforcement efforts to stem the flow of illegal drugs and abused prescriptions is just one part of what is required to fight this scourge, that is the combined efforts of parents, government leaders, medical professionals, educators, counselors, and concerned citizens and community organizations,” said Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith.

    “We are excited and hopeful about the package that was passed through the NYS Legislature this week. It is encouraging that the advocacy that has been done over the last few years has been heard by the legislature. The passage of these laws are the first steps toward reducing the stigma attached to drug addiction and to stemming the tide of this epidemic,” said Susan and Steve Salomone of ‘Drug Crisis in our Backyard’.

    For more information about the legislation that was passed please visit:

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