By Senator Patty Ritchie
Across New York State and our nation, heroin and opioid abuse is on the rise, leading to more drug overdoses and deaths in recent years than ever before.
Heroin abuse and the use of opioids are very serious problems.
But, the good news is we’re taking steps to fight back.
In response to this crisis, I’m working with the Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction; a group tasked examining the issues related to heroin and search for ways to combat increased abuse.
As part of this bipartisan task force, more than a dozen forums were held throughout our state, including one, which I hosted in Watertown.
At these forums, experts, recovering addicts, parents, law enforcement officials and other concerned citizens told stories of heartache and loss, as well as shared solutions for the future.
Based on the hearings, the task force has released a new report that includes a comprehensive package of bills to help address the key areas of drug treatment, prevention and law enforcement in communities across our state.
In many areas across New York State, including Upstate New York, wait lists are long to get treatment and in some cases, people have to drive several hours to get help.
This was a major issue discussed at my Watertown forum, and I’m pleased that legislation I’m sponsoring to help recovering abusers gain insurance coverage for their treatment is included in this new report.
For more information on the task force report, or to view a video of my Watertown forum, I encourage you to visit my website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov
If you have suggestions for how to stop the spread of heroin, don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected]
Fighting back against heroin and opioids isn’t something one person can do alone.
We need to work together to halt the heroin epidemic and prevent any future tragedies.