October 10, 2021
Governor Kathy Hochul today at John Jay College signed legislation (S.911/A.2354, S.1795/A.533, S.2523/A.868, S.6044/A.128, S.7228/A.5511) aimed toward reducing drug-related overdose deaths across New York State and encouraging those suffering from addiction to seek help in their recovery.
"Addiction can impact any family, suddenly and harshly - those who find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle are there through no fault of their own,"
Governor Hochul said.
"This is a personal battle for me and I am proud to be able to combat the opioid crisis by signing these bills into law. There is no shame in seeking help for substance use and I want to let all New Yorkers know that we are here for you. Treatment should always be accessible for those who need it."
Legislation S.911/A.2354 amends the criminal procedure law, the civil practice law and rules and the executive law to promote the use of opioid antagonists in preventing drug-related overdoses. This bill will decriminalize possession of opioid antagonists, which are drugs that block opioids by attaching to opioid receptors without activating them.
Legislation S.1795/A.868 works to establish a program for the use of medication assisted substance use disorder treatment for incarcerated individuals in state and local correctional facilities. Expanding medication assisted treatment, MAT, across state and local facilities will allow incarcerated individuals access to medications and therapies to provide them the opportunity to overcome substance use and lessen the likelihood that they may suffer drug-related overdoses upon their reentry into society.
Legislation S.2523/A.868 decriminalizes the possession and sale of hypodermic needles and syringes. The act of decriminalizing drug-related paraphernalia contributes to public safety by permitting harm reduction approaches for those suffering from substance use disorder and by reducing the rate at which HIV and hepatitis are transmitted.
Legislation S.6044/A.128 establishes an online directory for distributors of opioid antagonists making them more accessible to New Yorkers who may want to equip themselves with these life-saving medications. The directory is to be maintained by the Office of Addiction Services and Supports on their website.
Legislation S.7228/A.5511 expands the number of eligible crimes committed by individuals with a substance use disorder that may be considered for diversion to a substance use treatment program and updates the term "substance abuse" to "substance use." This ensures judges can order an individual to treatment instead of incarceration, allowing them a greater chance for successful, long-term rehabilitation.
To read more on this article, you can visit Governor Hochul Signs Legislation Package to Combat Opioid Crisis.
New York Pressroom
October 7, 2021