NYSAC PRESS RELEASE
County leaders applaud the State Senate for passing legislation designed to reduce the number of deaths cause by heroin overdose.
The bill, (S6477B), sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon, allows authorized health care
professionals to issue non-patient specific orders for Naloxone, an antidote that works to prevent accidental overdose death from heroin and other opioids.
“Battling herion addiction is more than a public safety concern. It is a public health imperative and a mental health crisis. There are too many young people today finding themselves in the grips of addiction and we need to take whatever action we can to prevent loss of life,” said NYSAC President Mark Alger, the Steuben County manager.
Naloxone is an opioid inhibitor that, if timely administer, can prevent an overdose fatality. This bill would provide Naloxone training programs to instruct health care professionals on how to properly administer the antidote.
“Herion does not discriminate. It can take hold of members from all families in all socio-economic category: rich or poor, functional or dysfunctional, black or white, suburban or urban,” said Chautauqua County Executive Vincent Horrigan, who recent held a Family Forum on substance abuse in the county. “We had 250 participants and the stories were heart wrenching. This needs to be one of our top priorities and we need to come together to find real solutions.”
The Association of Counties is working with the New York State Sheriffs Association in support of the State’s Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction. The Task Force will hold a series of forums across the state and, based on public input, develop a series of legislative recommendations.
“The past few years have seen a resurgence of heroin use across New York State. Our counties—from the sheriffs’ departments to our mental health workers, our public health officials and other affected county departments—need to work together with state officials to come up with the best strategies to curtail this epidemic now, before any more innocent lives are lost,” said Stephen J. Acquario, executive director of NYSAC.
The New York State Association of Counties is a bipartisan municipal association serving the counties of New York State including the City of New York. Organized in 1925, NYSAC’s mission is to represent, educate and advocate for Member Counties and the thousands of elected and appointed county officials who serve the public.