Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) announced that he has been named to the new Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction. The task force was formed in response to the sharp rise in the use of these drugs across New York State.
“We have seen the tremendous destruction heroin can bring to a family, neighborhood, city or region,” said Larkin. “With the use of these highly addictive drugs rising at a frightening rate, it is time for us to focus on the best way New York State can combat this epidemic. With this task force, we will be able to take an in-depth look at the rise in heroin use, addiction prevention, treatment options, drug-related crimes and the impact of drug use on communities and use this information going forward.”
The bipartisan task force will be chaired by Senator Phil Boyle (R-C-I, Suffolk County), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. He will be joined by task force Vice-Chair David Carlucci (D-Rockland), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, and Vice-Chair Michael Nozzolio (R-C, Fayette), Chairman of the Senate Codes Committee. The task force will hold forums in communities across the state to solicit input from stakeholders and experts and use the information collected to develop recommendations for legislative action.
In the Senate’s budget resolution passed last week, $5 million was proposed for increased heroin prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. The resolution also included a measure to increase the penalties for drug dealers by making it a class B felony for anyone to possess 50 or more individual packets of heroin and/or an amount of heroin with an aggregate value of at least $300.