BY MICHAEL RICONDA
NANUET – Rockland resident Michael Zall entered the fight against heroin and prescription drug abuse through personal struggles within his own family. On September 30, his efforts to prevent similar tragedies were recognized by State Sen. David Carlucci.
Zall had assisted Carlucci with the passage of a new law which creates a “wraparound” relapse prevention program. This program will assist recovering addicts up to nine months after their completion of regular treatment programs.
For his part, Zall was awarded with a pen certificate of the legislation, which was used by the Governor to sign the bill into law. According to Zall, he was pleased the program will be put into place, calling it “one of the many steps needed by New York” to roll back the negative impact of drug addiction.
“I’m very happy that Sen. Carlucci has taken up this law and passed it and elevated the discussion about drug addiction,” Zall said. “That to me is most important.”
The post-treatment relapse prevention programs will include educational resources, social services, family and childcare assistance, financial and employment services, peer supports and transportation assistance.
Zall, a patent attorney who works out of Suffern, was largely propelled into the fight by his own experiences with his son Jeremy, who died in 2013 after a twenty year struggle with prescription opiate abuse. Zall currently serves on the board of the Rockland Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependence.
Meanwhile, efforts to educate the public on heroin and prescription drug abuse continue at the county level.
Sen. Carlucci’s office will host a training session on the administration of the Narcan emergency anti-opiate overdose drug – which has seen expanded use by police medical professionals in New York – on October 6 at the Valley Cottage Library. Participants must sign up with Carlucci’s office prior to attendance. Upon completion of the training, each attendee will receive a resuscitation kit which includes Narcan.