New York State now has a “Good Samaritan” law that encourages a witness or victim of a drug or alcohol-related overdose to seek medical attention by removing the fear of prosecution. The bill was co-sponsored by Senator Jack M. Martins as a means to potential save a lives.
“When someone is suffering from a drug or alcohol overdose, it’s vital that the person get medical attention immediately. This measure eliminates the fear of being prosecuted for possession and will potentially save lives,” said Senator Martins.
“A person who, in good faith, seeks health care for someone who is experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose or other life-threatening medical emergency shall not be charged or prosecuted for a controlled substance offense,” the new law states.
New York State Senator Jack M. Martins recently met with a prescription drug task force to be briefed on the abuse of prescription drugs as part of Red Ribbon Week.
Senator Martins spoke to the task force about ways to combat the abuse of prescription drugs, specifically how the issue affects young people. While many residents depend on doctor-prescribed medication, there is a danger in taking drugs that aren’t prescribed
Each day, approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Abuse of prescription drugs can also lead to street drugs.
It never ceases to amaze me how much suffering can stem from things that were actually intended to be helpful. Case in point would be the latest drug epidemic that has seized our country, and more so our state. Surprisingly, it doesn’t involve heroin, crystal meth or any of the many other illicit, designer drugs out there, although each certainly brings plenty of heartache and loss. Rather, the crisis that now challenges us involves the abuse of prescription painkillers. What many of us have had in our medicine cabinets at one time or another is now responsible for tearing apart the lives of thousands of individuals and families.
A multi-prong approach is needed to combat an epidemic that has reached a critical point in New York State. Senator Jack M. Martins has proposed a law in New York State that would encourage the use of medications that are tamper resistant in an effort to decrease prescription drug abuse on Long Island and in New York State.
According to a report by the New York State Attorney General, the number of prescription painkillers has increased from 16.6 million in 2007 to 22.5 million in 2010, an increase of almost 36 percent in New York. During that time, Oxycodone prescriptions have increased by 82 percent. According to the report, painkiller overdoses led to nearly 15,000 deaths in 2008.
Senator Jack M. Martins attended a hearing held by the Senate Standing Committee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, chaired by Senator Phil Boyle, that included testimony from various experts in the field of addiction treatment and prevention. Among those who testified were New York State Officer of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene Gonzales-Sanchez and Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, Executive Director of the Long Island Coalition of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.
The hearing examined the problem and drug and alcohol addiction and abuse. The problem is a serious one in our region that will take a community effort to combat.
Also attending was New York State Assemblyman Joseph Saladino.
Senator Jack Martins (R-Mineola) today announced that the New York State Senate has passed legislation he sponsors to strengthen penalties for criminals who deal drugs to children.
“Drugs destroy lives, and the victims of drug abuse are getting younger and younger. Drug use among children, especially heroin, is a growing epidemic on Long Island. Criminals who target young children and poison them with heroin and other controlled substances deserve tougher penalties. This legislation will give law enforcement another tool to keep these drug dealers off the streets and behind bars where they belong,” said Senator Martins.