Senator Rich Funke secured the $30,000 Public Protection and Good Government Grant to help offset the additional costs being incurred because of the opioid epidemic. This money will allow task force members to conduct additional enforcement, prevention and education, while supporting other personnel in needed areas of concern.
“The opioid crisis our community faces did not start as a single event and no one course of action will stop it overnight,” said Senator Rich Funke. “Enforcement and prevention are two of the ways in which our community is coming together to address this epidemic. As a member of the New York State Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, I applaud the aggressive approach Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter is taking to address this problem in these areas. Together, we will continue to identify ways to bring this issue under control.”
Overdose deaths from opioid addiction continue to surpass motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of accidental death. As the local community wrestles with this growing public health epidemic, Senator Funke continues to advocate for additional support services in the Rochester and Finger Lakes regions.
“Thank you to NYS Senator Rich Funke, who listened to our concerns and understands the critical opioid epidemic that is plaguing our community,” said Monroe County Sheriff Todd K. Baxter. “These monies will help bring critical manpower to the fight with the Monroe County Heroin Task Force by deploying deputies directly to the streets of Monroe County. So far this year, the Monroe County Heroin Task Force has seized the equivalent of more than 21,000 hits of heroin/fentanyl, $308,000 in cash, and 24 guns. We express our sincere gratitude for this funding, which beyond everything provides hope for addicts and their families.”
The latest funding secured by Senator Funke is one of many steps initiated by the New York State Senate and supported by Senator Funke. Other initiatives to address the opioid epidemic include:
· Providing support to expectant mothers with opioid use disorders by establishing a system known as CHARM (Children and Recovering Mothers collaborative) to teach providers how to care for expectant mothers recovering from an opioid addiction
· Establishing four infant recovery centers for infants that are suffering from drug withdrawal as a result of in utero exposure to drugs, and,
· Requiring written consent from parents or guardians for the prescription of opioids to minors
While many of these proposals continue to stall in the New York State Assembly, Senator Funke remains committed to working with all local stakeholders to identify and address issues related to opioid addiction.