Senator Gounardes and the Senate Majority Combat Opioid Abuse And Overdoses

(Albany, NY) -- Senator Andrew Gounardes and the Senate Democratic Majority today passed a series of legislation to combat the opioid epidemic affecting communities across New York State. The series of bills will fight opioid abuse and addiction by providing additional resources to those fighting and recovering from this disease. Specifically, the legislation will encourage and monitor the distribution and use of opioid antagonists, expand Medication Assisted Treatment Programs, increase access to abuse-deterrent drugs, and establish a pilot program for Infant Recovery Centers.

Senator Andrew Gounardes said, “The opioid epidemic has devastated our communities. We lost 359 Brooklynites to drug overdoses in 2017, and no neighborhood has been spared this tragedy. The vast majority of us know someone whose life has been turned upside down by addiction--their own, a friend’s or a family member’s. The bills we are passing in the NY State Senate today treat addiction as a medical issue. Expanded access to Medication Assisted Treatment and opioid antagonists has been shown to save lives. We owe it to those we have lost and their family members to pass this essential legislation.”

The legislation that is being passed by the Senate Democratic Majority includes:

· Administering of Opioid Antagonist: This bill, S.5457, sponsored by Senator Pete Harckham, will expand the entities authorized to possess, distribute, and administer an opioid antagonist to reverse an opioid-related overdose to include public accommodations.

· Online Directory of Opioid Antagonist Distributers: This bill, S.4499, sponsored by Senator Pete Harckham, will establish an online directory for distributors of opioid antagonist.

· Opioid Risk Awareness: This bill, S.4277-A, sponsored by Senator Pete Harckham, will require health practitioners to discuss with patients the risks associated with certain pain medications before prescribing them, as well as alternative prescriptions available to them.

· Expand Access to Medication Assistance Treatment: This bill, S.5935, sponsored by Senator Pete Harckham, will expand access for eligible Medicaid individuals to medications that treat substance use disorders.

· Medication Assisted Treatment Program: This bill, S.2161, sponsored by Senator Jamaal Bailey, will establish a voluntary medication assisted treatment program at all state correctional facilities and local jails and will be offered to those fighting opioid addiction.

· Access to Abuse Deterrent Formulations: This bill, S.6397, sponsored by Senator David Carlucci, will ensure abuse-deterrent drugs approved by the FDA are accessible to patients and that that insurance coverage does not disadvantage access for patients to drugs approved by the FDA as abuse-deterrent.

· Infant Recovery Centers: This bill, S.5480, sponsored by Senator Gustavo Rivera, will require the Dept. of Health and The Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, to establish a pilot program of infant recovery centers for infants experiencing opioid or other drug withdrawal symptoms.

related legislation