Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction Announce 12 Forums to Be Held Statewide

Phil Boyle

April 4, 2014

             First Forum in Brentwood on Tuesday, April 8th to
                Examine Addiction Treatment and Prevention

        The New York State Senate Majority Coalition today announced the
schedule for the Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction.

        Twelve forums will be held statewide to solicit input on the rise in
the use of heroin and opioids and to develop legislative recommendations
for treating and preventing addiction and its consequences. The first forum
is being held this Tuesday, April 8, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the
Van Nostrand Theatre of Suffolk County Community College’s Brentwood
Campus, 1001 Crooked Hill Road, Brentwood. Interested members of the public
are invited to attend and participate in the discussion. For more
information, please call (631) 665-2311. The full schedule is below.

        The bipartisan task force is chaired by Senator Phil Boyle (R-C-I,
Suffolk County), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Drug
Abuse. Members will examine the issues and solicit 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. The task force will then develop
recommendations which will be used to draft legislation to address the
issues raised.

        “The numbers are staggering,” said Senator Boyle. “Every day we hear
of one tragedy after another.  It is now time that we galvanize as a
unified state to combat heroin and opioid addiction. Region by region,
throughout the State of New York, we will be reaching out to every
community for innovative ways to tackle this problem. We want to hear from
parents, teachers, students, doctors, coaches and advocates of every shape
and size to get to the core of this heroin epidemic.”

        Task force members include Vice-Chair David Carlucci (D-Rockland),
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental
Disabilities; Vice-Chair Michael Nozzolio (R-C, Fayette), Chairman of the
Senate Codes Committee; Senator Greg Ball (R-C-I, Patterson), Senator John
Bonacic (R-C-I, Mount Hope), Senator Pat Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma), Senator
Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R, Rome),
Senator Kemp Hannon (R, Nassau), Senator Andrew Lanza (R-I-C, Staten
Island), Senator William Larkin (R-C, Cornwall), Senator Betty Little
(R-C-I, Queensbury), Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset), Senator
Kathleen A. Marchione (R-C, Halfmoon), Senator Jack Martins (R-C-I,
Mineola), Senator George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane), Senator Thomas O’Mara
(R-C, Big Flats), Senator Patty Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton), Senator Joseph
Robach (R-C-I, Rochester), Senator Diane Savino (D, Staten
Island/Brooklyn), Senator James L. Seward (R-I-C, Oneonta), and Senator
Cathy Young (R-I-C, Olean).

        The forum will include members of the task force, experts in the
fields of education, law enforcement, mental health and substance abuse,
municipal officials, and individuals directly affected by opioid abuse.

        Heroin’s deadly affects are well established, and overdoses are on
the rise across the state. Data released by Newsday reported that heroin
“killed a record 121 people in Nassau and Suffolk in 2012 and at least 120
last year -- the two highest totals ever recorded.” The Buffalo News
reports that 29 people died of heroin overdoses in Erie County in 2013,
“almost a third more than the year before.” The Syracuse Post Standard
reported that heroin-related deaths “have climbed rapidly in Onondaga
County -- from two in 2010 to 24 in 2013.” In New York City, the Times
reported that “after several years of decline,” heroin-related overdose
deaths increased 84 percent from 2010 to 2012.

        Due to the Senate Majority’s efforts, the recently enacted 2014-15
state budget included $2.45 million for initiatives to provide prevention,
treatment and addiction services to address the growing problems of heroin
and opioid abuse. Also in March, the Senate passed legislation (S6477B) to
help save lives by allowing authorized health care professionals to
increase public access to Narcan/Naloxone which, if timely administered,
can prevent an overdose death.

2014 Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction Schedule:

Long Island:
April 8, 2014 - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Suffolk County Community College
Brentwood Campus, Van Nostrand Theatre, 1001 Crooked Hill Road, Brentwood,
Suffolk County. The public is invited; For more information: (631)

Western New York:
April 15, 2014 - 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Monroe County Office Building, 39 West
Main Street, Rochester, Monroe County. For more information: (585)

Central New York:
April 15, 2014 - 5 to 7 p.m.: 1st Floor Conference Room, State Office
Building,  207 Genesee Street , Utica, Oneida County. For more information:
(315) 793-9072; and
May 8, 2014 - 12:30 p.m. registration, forum held from 1 to 3 p.m.: Auburn
City Hall Chambers, 24 South Street, Auburn, Cayuga County. For more
information: (315) 568-9816.

Capital District:
April 23, 2014 - 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Hudson Valley Community College, Bulmer
Telecommunications Center (BTC) Auditorium, 80 Vandenburgh Ave., Troy,
Rensselaer County. For more information: (518) 455-2381.

Hudson Valley:
April 24, 2014 - 6 p.m.: Paladin Center Tactical Training Facility, 39
Seminary Hill Rd., Carmel Hamlet, Putnam County. For more information:
(845) 531-9796; and
May 15, 2014 - 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Newburgh Armory Unity Center, 321 South
William Street, Newburgh, Orange County. For more information: (845)

North Country:
April 25, 2014 - 10 a.m.: Clinton County Government Center, 137 Margaret
Street, Plattsburgh, Clinton County. For more information: (518) 455-2811.

Southern Tier:
April 28, 2014 - 9:30 a.m.: SUNY Oneonta, 108 Ravine Pkwy, Oneonta, Otsego
County. For more information: (607) 432-5524.

New York City:
May 1, 2014 - 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Senate Hearing Room, 19th Floor, 250
Broadway, Manhattan. For more information: (718) 238-6044.

Staten Island:
May 2, 2014 - 1 to 4 p.m.: Jewish Community Center of Staten Island
auditorium, 1297 Arthur Kill Road, Staten Island. For more information:
(518) 455-3215.

May 9, 2014 - 2 to 4 p.m.: Legislative Hearing Room, 2nd Floor, Sullivan
County Government Center, 100 North Street, Monticello, Sullivan County.
For more information: (845) 344-3311.