Brooklyn, NY - Today, State Senator Kevin Parker and the Senate Majority passed legislation to tackle the opioid epidemic that has harmed individuals and communities across the country at an alarming rate. Last year, the Joint Senate Task Force on Opioids, Addiction, & Overdose Prevention was convene to hear from stakeholders on strategies for reducing overdoses, improving individual and community health, and addressing the harmful consequences of drug use. The Task Force concluded its work by releasing a report that guided the Senate Majority as they crafted the legislative proposals that passed the State Senate today.
“The so-called War on Drugs ravished Black and Brown communities from Flatbush to Emerson, and its chilling and catastrophic effects are visible everywhere you turn in communities of color,” said Senator Parker. “The package of anti-opioid legislation that the Senate Majority passed today is a long overdue step towards justice and fairness for Black and Brown communities. These bills illustrate the progress we have made as a state, and although late and with tremendous consequence to traditionally marginalized communities of color, I remain hopeful as the new Senate Majority is leading the charge to rethink the way New York addresses drug abuse and addiction, criminal punishment, and mass incarceration,” stated Senator Parker.
Senator Parker’s legislation in the package, Senate Bill S.4599 - Chemical Dependence Treatment Bill of Rights, creates an explicit list of rights to be clearly posted throughout Substance Abuse Disorder treatment facilities and given to every patient upon intake. “It is essential that a stigmatized group like people suffering from substance abuse issues be afforded the same type of rights and protections that are extended to persons seeking other forms of medical care. With people who suffer from chemical dependency among the most vulnerable in society, it just makes sense to make sure they are aware of their rights as they embark on the road to recovery,” concluded Senator Parker.
About Senator Kevin Parker:
Senator Kevin Parker represents Brooklyn’s ethnically diverse 21st Senate District comprised of sections of Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Park Slope. A lifelong Brooklyn resident, Senator Parker has the honor of serving his community as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Telecommunications, and on the Senate Standing Committees on Finance; Rules; Alcoholism & Substance Abuse; Insurance; and Banks.
For more information on Senator Parker, please visit www.nysenate.gov/senators/kevin-s-parker