As Vice Chair of the Senate’s Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Abuse, Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) authored the successful passage of two pieces of legislation that focus on prevention and treatment options for those who have fallen prey to the recent heroin epidemic.
At hearings across the State friends and family members of victims shared similar experiences of loved ones being denied outpatient treatment for their addiction.
This piece of legislation that passed in the State Senate targets that critical window of time where if supports and services were provided to an addict, it could have saved their life. First by creating the Assisted Outpatient Treatment for Substance Abuse Program, we will allow a process in which a victim or family member can petition a court to obtain an order for assisted outpatient treatment services. These critical life saving services include case management services, substance use disorder services, detoxification treatment plan, medication supported recovery, individual or group therapy, day or partial day programming activities, tests for the presence of alcohol or illegal drugs, supervision of living arrangements and any other services prescribed to treat the person's substance use disorder to assist the person in living and functioning in the community.
The commissioner of the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services, in consultation with the Commissioner of the Department of Health and the Commissioner of the Office of Mental Health will work together to create the Assisted Outpatient Treatment for Substance Abuse Program while also creating an advisory council to provide recommendations and guidance for prevention programs.
The second piece of legislation that passed the State Senate will establish a program to provide wraparound services to individuals who have successfully completed a treatment program. These services include educational resources, peer to peer support group, social services and family services and counseling employment support and counseling, transportation assistance, medical services, legal services, financial services and childcare services.
Senator Carlucci said, “By passing these critical pieces of legislation we made sure to address the fact that there exists a frightening heroin epidemic that is plaguing our communities and putting our children at risk. This multi-prong approach will save lives by focusing on recovery and prevention while closing a loophole in our current system that let victims fall through the cracks.”