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Gov.Hochul Signs Bill Requiring Annual Report- Substance Use Disorder among Incarcerated Individuals

October 24, 2021

Governor Kathy Hochul today signed legislation (S2209/A540) that focuses on updating the Office of Addiction Services and Supports' guidelines on substance abuse reports, requiring additional reporting regarding the most commonly used substances as well as what treatments individuals receive. It will also require annual reports from state correctional facilities.

"New Yorkers struggling with addiction need our help and support as they go through the process of recovery," said Governor Hochul. "Because of this legislation, we will have a greater understanding of the challenges faced by incarcerated individuals living with substance use disorders — giving us the critical tools needed to continue fighting the opioid crisis."

The legislation will include certain data points for the reports such as what substances incarcerated individuals are commonly using, the treatments available for these substances, how many individuals are receiving such treatment, the stage of their incarceration at which they began receiving treatment, how many individuals are discharged from treatment, the reasons for the discharge, and whether the discharge is connected to drug use or solitary confinement. The bill goes into effect immediately.

Senator Luis Sepúlveda said, "This month, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a package of opioid bills aimed toward reducing drug-related overdose deaths across New York State and encouraging those suffering from addiction to seek help with their recovery process. Today, Governor Hochul signed my bill, S2209, into law which requires the Office of Addiction Services and Supports to update its guidelines for correctional substance use disorder treatment in line with best practices and would require annual reporting of data on the substances that incarcerated individuals are most commonly addicted to and what treatment they receive"

"This data will include the substances incarcerated individuals are commonly using. It will help us understand how many individuals are receiving treatment and how the State can better provide services while incarcerated so that when they return home, they do not return to drug or opioid use, and hopefully cure their addiction to become more productive members of society. It is crucial to raise awareness of the opioid crisis not only on the outside but in our correctional facilities as well. I would like to thank Assembly member Linda Rosenthal for tirelessly working on this legislation with my office. I also applaud Governor Hochul for understanding the importance of helping incarcerated New Yorkers."

Assembly member Linda B. Rosenthal said, "In order to ensure that people who are incarcerated are actually receiving the substance use disorder treatment and healthcare they need and deserve, this new law will require OASAS to implement a comprehensive oversight and robust reporting program. Substance use disorder is a problem that has plagued people in every community of the state, and nowhere is this more evident than in our prisons and jails where as many as 80% of people incarcerated are battling addiction. With this measure, a companion to the new law mandating medication assisted treatment for those in prisons and jail, New York State will receive detailed reporting on the current needs for substance use disorder treatment, allowing us to allocate the necessary resources to ensure everyone's needs are met. I thank Governor Hochul for signing into law bills implementing evidence-based approaches to substance use disorder."

New York Pressroom

October 23, 2021

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