SUFFERN, NY - A vital part of creating effective legislation and providing funds to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic is getting feedback from the people who provide services that aid individuals and families struggling with drug addiction. As Co-Chairman of the Senate Majority Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, Senator Terrence Murphy has authored and supported landmark legislation addressing the issues of prevention, treatment, recovery and enforcement as they relate to drug abuse. Recently, Senator Murphy joined a round table discussion at Rockland Community College hosted by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul to discuss the impact the new heroin and opioid laws have had on service providers, community organizations, and state legislators.
In June, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law legislation sponsored by Senator Murphy that limited opioid prescriptions from 30 to 7 days, required mandatory pain management education for physicians and prescribers, and eliminated burdensome insurance barriers to treatment.
"It is an important that we hear how this new legislation is affecting the people on the front lines, particularly our service providers," said Senator Murphy. "Everything we do needs to be directed toward saving the lives of people who are in danger of being swallowed up by the heroin and opioid epidemic. Forums such as this can validate the direction we have taken or let us know where we need to redirect our efforts. We all have to work together as a team, putting partisan politics aside, to build a safer and healthier New York and help those in need get on the path to recovery."
"Since 2010, there have been more than 230 heroin-related deaths in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties," said Senator David Carlucci. "We need to attack this epidemic from all angles. I will continue to work on legislation with my colleagues to find the best solution to make this issue a thing of the past."
"A lot of people get the legislation out but they never bother to see if the implementation of the legislation is actually meeting the desired goal," said Patrice Wallace-Moore, CEO of Arms Acres located in Carmel. "We need to continue to do this because there are some parts of the legislation that has not gone into effect yet. So in time we will be able to go back to see if that legislation has had a positive effect. I think we have already seen some positive things and I continue to be hopeful."
The forum proceeded Overdose Awareness Day, which is recognized on August 31st of each year. Acclaimed both nationally and internationally, Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that the tragedy of death by overdose is preventable. It is also a day to raise awareness of the factors related to an overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related death. Of equal importance, the day acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends and remembers those who have met with death or injury as a result of a drug overdose.