The New York State Assembly is backing $30 million in funding intended to combat the growing heroin addiction epidemic in the state, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced on Tuesday.
The proposal, part of the Assembly’s one-house budget proposal, would expand treatment and support programs for heroin and opiate abuse.
Assemblyman James Skoufis (D), whose district includes portions of North Rockland, has been a big supporter of the plan.
“I am proud that the Assembly’s budget proposal dedicates significant money to fight the heroin crisis across the state. Heroin has damaged too many lives and hurt too many families; we cannot let this continue. The $30 million we designate will provide much-needed funding for improved treatment and support as individuals work to overcome this deadly addiction.”
“All across New York State, it has become clear that we need to step up our game in the fight against heroin and opiate addiction,” Speaker Heastie said in a statement. “It has taken too many lives and touched too many homes. That’s why the Assembly has proposed to increase funding significantly from last year.”
The funding includes $15 million for treatment and preventative services, as well as $9 million for post-treatment recovery aimed at supporting those who recently completed addiction treatment. Another $6 million
would be used for patient engagement programs that help individuals find treatment options.
“New York is facing a heroin and opioid addiction epidemic, and we must allocate resources to ensure robust prevention, education and treatment to help save lives,” said Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, who chairs the chamber’s Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Committee. “Our communities can no longer afford to continue the criminalization of those who desperately need our help. Instead, we must empower them with the support they need to recover and regain their lives.”
Along with the $30 million package, the one-house budget would restore $2 million to fund substance abuse prevention and intervention specialists for schools in New York City.