Citing the immediate need to stop the dramatic increase in the use of heroin and opioid-based illegal drugs, New York State Senator Mike Nozzolio today announced that he has been appointed to serve as Vice Co-Chairman of the Senate Heroin and Opioid Addiction Task Force. The Task Force will work to strengthen criminal justice laws and develop recommendations for preventing drug addiction.
“Combating the use of heroin and opioid-based illegal drugs is critically important to protecting the safety and well-being of all New Yorkers,” said New York State Senator Mike Nozzolio. “The use of highly addictive opioid-based narcotics has destroyed countless lives and families and is the fastest growing drug problem in both our State and Nation. As a member of this new task force, I look forward to working with my colleagues to prevent drug addiction, while strengthening criminal justice laws to keep drug dealers off our streets and behind bars where they belong.”
There has been a dramatic increase in heroin and opioid-based drug use in the Monroe County-Greater Finger Lakes region. This new epidemic crosses all ethnic, age, and socioeconomic boundaries. Nationally, the number of overdose deaths involving heroin increased by 45 percent between 2006 and 2010, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy .
Additionally, Senator Nozzolio has led the effort to prevent illegal drug use and recently sponsored and voted to enact new legislation (S988A) which will increase criminal penalties for individuals who sell illegal drugs to children. Under this new legislation, individual over the age 18 who sell a controlled substance to a minor under the age of 14, will be charged with a class A-II felony. This will result in much longer prison sentences for drug dealers who prey on children.
“We cannot continue to put innocent children at risk and I am hopeful that the Assembly will act without delay to adopt this important measure into law. As Chairman of the Senate Codes Committee, which has jurisdiction over all aspects of criminal justice law, I will continue my efforts to enact tougher mandatory sentencing guidelines for drug dealers and violent criminal offenders," concluded Senator Mike Nozzolio.