Governor Cuomo today signed legislation designed to combat the growing heroin and opioid epidemic in communities across New York State.

Last week the Governor and legislative leaders reached an agreement on multiple bills that include new programs and insurance reforms to imporve treatment options for individuals suffering from opioid addiction.

The package also includes measures to strengthen penalties and put in place additional tools for law enforcement to crack down on illegal drugs, provisions to ensure the proper use of the overdose antidote naloxone and enhanced public awareness campaigns to prevent drug abuse.

"Heroin has become a public health crisis in communities across the nation, but today New York State is taking a stand to turn the tide on this epidemic," Governor Cuomo said. "This legislation builds on actions that we have already initiated by strengthening our laws, improving treatment supports, instituting tougher penalties for traffickers, and training first responders and other emergency or law enforcement personnel in how to use a life-saving anti-overdose medicine. I am proud that we are rolling out this comprehensive and thorough response at a time when New Yorkers need it most, and I thank the many advocates, community leaders and elected officials who have made this day possible."

 

Earlier this month, Cuomo announced a series of new initiatives including the addition of 100 experienced investigators to the State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team; new efforts to make naloxone available to all first responder units in the state; and the launch of a targeted awareness campaign that will take place on all public college and university campuses.

Watch a video of the Governor's Press Conference Below: