Albany, N.Y. – 03/27/2014 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson), Chairman of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, has announced that the Senate today passed legislation to help save lives by increasing access to a highly effective antidote for accidental drug overdose known as Naloxone or Narcan.
The legislation (S6477B), Co-sponsored by Senator Greg Ball, allows authorized health care professionals to issue non-patient specific orders for Naloxone to certified training programs and pharmacies, which could then distribute the Naloxone kits and instruct how to properly administer it. If timely administered, Naloxone can prevent an overdose death.
“The epidemic of heroin addiction plaguing our communities must be confronted head on. It is sickening to read and hear of the countless deaths in our community. We must get to the kids before it’s too late, talk is cheap, and what is needed is funding and resources. As legislators, we must do everything in our power to protect our children from drug addiction,” said Senator Greg Ball.
During a recent Homeland Security Roundtable hosted by Senator Greg Ball, a large topic of discussion was the access to Naloxone. Expanding upon the success of existing programs, more lives could be saved if Naloxone was available to addicts, their families and other people likely to be in a position to assist a person at risk of an opioid-related overdose. Currently, parents and family members of addicts are being turned away from Naloxone training programs or are attending the programs and not receiving Naloxone due to the shortage of prescribers participating in such programs.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that every 19 minutes, one person dies from an accidental overdose from prescription drug abuse. In an effort to curb this prescription drug crisis, the Legislature enacted the seminal I-STOP legislation in 2012. Due to the success of I-STOP, street access to controlled substances has declined. One unfortunate side effect of this is that drug abusers are turning to other drugs, such as heroin, as the cheaper alternative to prescription drugs.
Senator Greg Ball was recently appointed to the Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction to develop recommendations and to prevent and treat addition. The task force, Chaired by Senator Phil Boyle (R-C-I, Suffolk County), will host a Homeland Security Drug Crisis Roundtable at the Paladin Center Tactical Training Facility located at 39 Seminary Hill Rd, Carmel, NY 10512 on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 6:00 PM. The public and media are invited to attend.
In addition to the legislation and task force, the Senate’s budget resolution included $7.95 million to combat the heroin epidemic across New York State. $5 million was included for increased heroin prevention, treatment and recovery support services; $2 million for additional residential intensive treatment beds; $500,000 for pharmaceutical take back and $450,000 for opioid drug addiction prevention and treatment.
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