For Immediate Release: April 9, 2014
Contact: Josh Fitzpatrick, (518) 455-2381, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cell: (518) 542-2413, email@example.com
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Senator Kathy Marchione to hold community forum on heroin and opioid addiction on Wednesday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to noon, at Hudson Valley Community College’s Bulmer Telecommunications Center (BTC) Auditorium
Panel will feature representatives from local law enforcement, addiction treatment and recovery, educators and civic leaders discussing solutions to stem the rising tide of heroin and opioid abuse in New York to better protect children and families from these addictive, deadly drugs
In an effort to develop community-based solutions to stem the rising, deadly tide of heroin and opioid abuse in New York State, Senator Kathleen A. Marchione (R,C-Halfmoon) today announced that the Capital Region forum of the Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction will be held on Wednesday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to noon, at Hudson Valley Community College’s (HVCC) Bulmer Telecommunications Center (BTC) Auditorium in Troy.
In March, Senator Marchione was named a member of the new, bi-partisan Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction. The community forum being held at HVCC on April 23 is one of 12 task force forums taking place throughout the state. The bipartisan Senate Task Force, led by Senator Phil Boyle (R-C-I, Suffolk County), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, was created to solicit input on the rise in the use of heroin and other opioids in New York State and to develop legislative recommendations for treating and preventing addiction and its consequences.
The upcoming forum at HVCC on April 23 will include members of the bi-partisan Senate Task Force and also feature experts in the fields of education, law enforcement, mental health and substance abuse, municipal officials and individuals directly affected by opioid abuse. The forum will invite audience participation, input and dialog. Further details of the April 23 community forum at HVCC are below:
Who: Senator Kathy Marchione and Task Force Chair Senator Phil Boyle, representatives from local enforcement, addiction/treatment, educators and elected officials
What: Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction Community Forum (free light refreshments will be provided)
When: Wednesday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to noon
Where: Hudson Valley Community College’s (HVCC) Bulmer Telecommunications Center (BTC) Auditorium, 80 Vandenburgh Ave, Troy, NY 12180
Why: Heroin and opioid abuse is on the rise in New York State and across much of the northeastern United States, leading to a rise in drug overdoses and deaths
“The rising, deadly tide of heroin and opioid abuse is something that should concern every parent and every New Yorker. The community forum I am hosting at Hudson Valley Community College on April 23 is focused on starting a real conversation so we can develop community-based solutions to better protect families and children from these addictive, deadly drugs. Our bi-partisan forum will encourage audience participation and feedback for a constructive dialog about how we can solve the growing problem of heroin and opioid abuse from the perspectives of prevention, treatment, recovery and law enforcement,” Senator Marchione said.
“This topic is incredibly important and I ask parents, as well as local civic leaders, addiction and recovery specialists, educators, health care and law enforcement professionals, to take part in this community forum at HVCC on April 23.”
In addition to Senator Marchione, members of the Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction 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 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).
Members of the Senate’s Task Force are examining the issues and soliciting 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.
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. In addition to the creation of the task force, the Senate passed legislation (S6477B) in March 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.