Addiction to opioids is increasingly killing residents of New York and the United States, according to our drug crime attorneys. Victims take the drug either knowingly or unknowingly. One problem is that opioids might be in a medicine cabinet in your home in a painkiller your doctor prescribed. Here are some steps New York is taking to curb this menace.

Governor Cuomo Announced Federal Grant

New York’s Governor Cuomo has announced rolling out $25.2 million funded by the Federal Government. This fund is intended to extend steps taken to fight against opioids. The millions will be used towards enhancing services geared to the treatment of victims of disorders related to using opioids. Services to be expanded are: medicinal treatment, mobile treatment, tele-health, supporting recovering addicts, and preventing opioids from finding their way into New York.

The Governor has gone further to create a task-force to fight opioid and heroin addiction. There are 16 counties targeted and described as high-need in New York. Some of these high-need counties are: Niagara, Tompkins, Cayuga, Tioga, Jefferson, Saratoga, Oswego, and Sullivan. These counties will receive $1.8 million more to train those who will be providing medicinal treatment to recovering addicts, as well as training on the use of naloxone, an opioid antidote.

A Reformed Health Insurance

Reforms in the health insurance sector took effect on the 1st of January 2017, after an announcement was made by the New York Governor. The reforms are directed at fighting the ongoing opioid and heroin crisis. Governor Cuomo signed a legislative deal that demands health insurance plans cover the cost of treating opioid addicts. The deal also limits doctors from over-prescribing opioids in New York. It also extends ways to prevent opioids within communities and increases better access to medication.

These reforms will remove limitations which prevent the citizens of New York from getting help. They have outlined better precautions to get opioids off the streets. The deal includes best practices recommended by Governor Cuomo’s heroin and opioid task force. The reforms remove the burden that was there to patients seeking treatment and medication as in-patients. The new Law stipulates that insurance authorization is not necessary before a patient is admitted as an in-patient. As long as a patient needs treatment, insurance firms are required by law to cover in-patient treatment cost for substance users; and all disorders associated with their use.

NYPD Fights Back to End Opioid Crisis

Cases of opioid-related overdoses and deaths are reported to the New York Police Department every day. That is why the NYPD is determined to reverse this situation by taking steps towards eradicating opioids permanently. On Staten Island, the NYPD started a program where its officers are required to carry naloxone. It is meant to reverse the effects of an overdose of opioid. They have trained over 17,000 officers spread throughout New York City. NYPD has saved over 140 lives using naloxone excluding emergency medical teams and hospitals.

NYPD investigates all reported cases of opioid overdose to find out whether a person bought it illegally on the street, or from a doctor’s prescription. It has 84 officers to carry out investigations and to specifically deal with opioid-related cases. The borough narcotics squad has 64 officers to cover NYC; 20 officers will be based at the Criminal Enterprise Division. They work with the FBI to investigate complicated opioid crimes.

Use Caution When Taking Pain Killers

Opioids have continued to destroy lives in NYC for years. Take prescribed painkillers only when necessary, and use caution when taking them. It’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of addiction. The opioid crisis will not go away overnight, but states like New York are implementing new strategies to offer residents relief from the epidemic, as well as decrease the overdoses and deaths plaguing cities across the US.

For more information, speak to a drug crime lawyer today.

By: Kimberly Pelesz

Family law and criminal defense attorney Kimberly A. Pelesz received a B.S. degree magna cum laude and an M.P.A. degree summa cum laude from Binghamton University. She earned her J.D. from Pace University School of Law in White Plains, where she was selected for Phi Alpha Delta. Her charitable activities include work with My Sisters’ Place in White Plains and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Humane Education Taskforce.

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