Initiatives to Combat Heroin Use in NY Announced

By Joe Gullo

Published 06/11 2014 01:54PM

Updated 06/11 2014 02:24PM

ALBANY, N.Y. -  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a statewide initiative to combat heroin use.

A press release says 100 experienced investigators will be added to the New York State Police narcotics unit and Naloxone will be made available to all first responders.

"By nearly doubling the State Police’s drug enforcement units with the addition of more than 100 seasoned investigators we are going above and beyond to combat this deadly drug, Governor Cuomo said. “Additionally, providing supplies of naloxone to all first responder units and raising awareness through our SUNY and CUNY campuses will save lives in communities across the State."

Naloxone is an emergency treatment that blocks the effects of opioids on the body, and can reverse the effects of an overdose. 

Governor also announced the launch of an awareness and support campaign involving all SUNY campuses that includes:
  • Making heroin and opioid awareness part of every incoming student orientation, as well as at other key moments in students’ college experience;
  • Training all resident assistants and other support staff who deal with students on a regular basis in the warning signs of possible prescription drug or heroin abuse, including recognizing the risk factors and signs of heroin and opioid abuse when they seem them and clearing up misconceptions about the signs and severity of heroin and opioid use and abuse;
  • Ensuring that all students who are seeking treatment for prescription drug or heroin abuse receive all necessary services, including through the launch of a hotline/textline and encouraging anonymous and no-fault reporting when someone needs help;
  • State Police will assist all University Police and community college law enforcement departments on trafficking patterns, signs of prescription drug and heroin abuse, and best practices in handling those believed to be under the influence of either substance, and;
  • Training University police and health centers in how to administer naloxone and ensuring access to a supply for use by trained staff.
In 2013, there were 89,269 cases of heroin and prescription opiate treatment admissions in New York. That's an increase from 63,793 in 2004. 

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