New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo addressed what has been described by many as a rampant heroin epidemic on June 24, 2014. Heroin and opiate overdoses have rapidly become one of the most fast-growing causes of death in recent years, and many regions are struggling with ways in which this dangerous problem may be addressed.
Bill Has Many Elements
Governor Cuomo's signed legislation included several bills, which all serve as a mandate for the eradication of heroin and opiate use, addiction, and overdose deaths. One part of the bill focuses on the sale and distribution and calls for additional resources in finding and prosecuting those who are caught trafficking or selling heroin. This also includes more severe penalties for felons who are caught and found guilty of heroin-related crimes.
Another aspect of the bill signed addresses health insurance companies and their coverage of patients with addiction issues. This area of the bill makes demands for higher coverage of treatment for individuals seeking help for heroin or opiate addiction. It also calls for education to doctors and pharmacists in regard to the symptoms of opiate abuse and the way in which those who are suffering from opiate abuse may be identified. Also included in the bill is an allowance for funding to support education about the dangers of opiate and heroin abuse.
Governor Also Signed Bill to Support Good Samaritans
In addition to signing a bill to support fighting the war against heroin and opiates, Cuomo also signed a bill that expands the use of opiate antagonists like naloxone, which can reverse the effect of a heroin overdose. This bill also makes it easier for first responders like police officers more able to administer possibly life-saving drugs.
Push For More Extensive Law Enforcement Presence
This bill comes one the heels of an announcement last month that an additional 100 narcotics officers would be hired and join the police force in New York State to find and prosecute drug criminals. A major part of the anti-drug policy in New York State has been attempting to minimize the presence of heroin before individuals have a chance to access it at all. The elimination of such illicit drugs is, of course, no small task and has required a joint effort with agencies like the DEA, who are also focused on making real gains in the fight against bringing additional heroin into the United States black market.
Many New York Residents Understand Need For Bill is Dire
As in so many other regions in the country, heroin and opiate abuse has become quite rampant. Deaths associated with heroin have jumped a whopping 123 percent in the last nine years. Most figures show that the main victims of heroin addiction are young people