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NY makes $8M available to combat heroin, prescription drug abuse among young adults

Posted 27 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

ALBANY – Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced the state has been awarded $8.1 million in federal funds to help prevent heroin use, prescription drug abuse, and opioid overdose among adolescents and young adults across New York, while also increasing awareness about the dangers of these drugs.

“This funding will help in our battle against heroin and prescription drug abuse, an epidemic that disproportionately affects teens and young adults, and has resulted in far too much needless tragedy,” Cuomo said. “Drug abuse has devastating consequences for families across New York, and these grants are another way our administration is working to help communities fight this heads on, and ultimately save lives.”

The five-year, $8.1 million Strategic Prevention Framework-Partnership for Success funding was awarded by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The funds will be awarded in up to 10 local community coalitions located in high need communities across New York State. These funds will be used to implement environmental prevention strategies targeting heroin and prescription drug abuse and overdose prevention in the 12- to 25-year-old age group.

This new grant funding will support community coalitions in meeting the following goals:

Reduce prescription drug misuse and abuse in the 12- to 25-year-old population;

Reduce heroin use and heroin/prescription opioid overdose deaths among the 12- to 25-year-old population;

Increase public awareness through statewide and community media campaigns directed at parents and community members about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse and the strategies to prevent heroin/prescription opioid overdose deaths;

Increase the number of anti-overdose medication Narcan/naloxone trainings offered to parents, family members, and anyone living with a heroin/prescription opioid addict.

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) will administer the grant. The funding will run through Sept. 30, 2019. Applications for community coalitions to apply for this funding are available by clicking here.

Heroin addiction and prescription opioid abuse are persistent national problems that reach deep into communities across New York and heavily affect young adults.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 15,000 people die every year of overdoses involving prescription painkillers nationwide. In 2014, there were more than 118,000 admissions into New York State-certified treatment programs for heroin and prescription opioid abuse – a 17.8 percent increase over 2009. The largest increase in opioid admissions during that time was patients ages 18 to 34.

Governor Cuomo has made this issue a priority and implemented aggressive measures to help New Yorkers address heroin addiction and prescription opioid abuse. The Governor launched the #CombatHeroin campaign in September 2014 to inform and educate New Yorkers about the risks of heroin and prescription opioid use, the warning signs of addiction, and the resources available to help.

Additionally, the Governor launched the expanded first responder training program that in part requires every SUNY and CUNY police officer to be trained to respond to an opioid overdose by using naloxone. More than 41,000 New Yorkers are now trained – including nearly 4,000 law enforcement officers – and more than 1,200 lives have been saved.

“Heroin and prescription drugs are ravaging communities throughout New York and this federal funding will make a real difference in helping us address the epidemic,” said Senator Charles Schumer. “We must do everything in our power to prevent young people from falling victim to these horrible drugs, and I will continue to do everything I can to fight for funding that we need to address both the supply of these drugs and enhance treatment options that limit demand.”