Senator Elaine Phillips (R-Manhasset) has been appointed to the Senate’s Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction.
As a member of the Task Force, Senator Phillips will help develop recommendations and legislation to address the statewide heroin and opioid epidemic. The Task Force will be holding hearings throughout the State to get input from experts on what new measures are needed to continue fighting addiction and drug abuse in New York State.
“Every community in my Senate district, on Long Island and throughout New York State is afflicted with heroin and opioid abuse. Parents, community leaders and first responders have all shared powerful personal stories with me about their first hand experiences dealing with this horrific epidemic. The State Legislature has taken positive steps over the last several years to address this crisis, but there’s a lot more work to do. I look forward to developing new solutions to expand treatment access, enhance prevention efforts and give law enforcement stronger tools to get the dealers who are poisoning our communities off the streets,” said Senator Phillips.
Heroin and opioid abuse is a national epidemic. A December 2016 Newsday report noted that opioid overdoses killed more Americans than car accidents and gun violence in 2015. Over 3,000 people died from opioid overdoses in New York State in 2016, a 20 percent increase from the prior year, according to the same report.
Senator Phillips has been active in addressing this crisis locally, even before her service in the Senate. As Mayor of the Village of Flower Hill, she worked with the Nassau County Police Department, treatment providers and community advocacy organizations to help connect residents with treatment services, as well as inform them about preventative steps they can take to keep their families and communities safe.