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Cuomo proposes plan to combat heroin and opioid epidemic

Posted 10 January 2017 at 3:22 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today proposed a bold, multi-faceted proposal to combat every angle of the heroin and opioid crisis in New York State.

The Governor’s proposal builds on the success of the legislative package he signed in June to increase access to treatment, expand community prevention strategies and limit the over-prescription of opioids in New York. The proposals aim to eliminate insurance barriers and further expand access to effective treatment, curb overprescribing, and get fentanyl and other synthetic opioids off the streets.

“New York has made great strides in combatting the devastating epidemic of heroin and opioid addiction, but this crisis continues and we must continue to do everything in our power to combat each facet of this complex health emergency,” Cuomo said. “This multipronged plan addresses each component of heroin and opioid addiction – prevention, treatment, and recovery – in order to help break this cycle of misery and save lives.”

The six-point plan put forward in Cuomo’s State of the State address is outlined below:

• Eliminate prior authorization requirements to make substance use disorder treatment available to all

• Add fentanyl analogs to the New York controlled substances schedule to subject emerging synthetic drugs to criminal drug penalties

• Increase access to life-saving buprenorphine treatment by recruiting health care providers to become prescribers.

• Establish 24/7 crisis treatment centers to ensure access to critical support services

• Require emergency department prescribers to consult the Prescription Monitoring Program registry to combat “doctor shopping”

• Create New York’s first recovery high schools to help young people in recovery finish school

Since 2014, Cuomo has implemented a series of aggressive reforms to combat heroin and opioid addiction, including:

• Limiting initial opioid prescriptions for acute pain from 30 to 7 days

• Expanding insurance coverage for substance use disorder treatment

• Increasing access and enhancing treatment capacity across the state, including a major expansion of opioid treatment and recovery services

• Implementing the comprehensive I-STOP law to curb prescription drug abuse

• Launching a public awareness and prevention campaign to inform New Yorkers about the dangers of heroin use and opioid misuse and the disease of addiction

• Assembling a task force to propose initiatives to tackle the heroin and opioid epidemic.

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