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FEBRUARY 27, 2015: Governor Cuomo Announces $8 Million to Combat Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse Among Young Adults Statewide

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that New York 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 the State, while also increasing awareness about the dangers of these drugs.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that New York 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 the State, 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," Governor 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 to:

  • 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 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.

Senator Charles E. Schumer said, “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 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."

Congressman Charles B. Rangel said, "Drug abuse and addiction can be prevented, and it is vital that we allocate the resources necessary to educate young people about the risks and dangers associated with misuse of substances. I applaud the Governor for committing funds that can help save the future and lives of many New Yorkers. This investment will go a long way, not only in improving the health of individuals but also in helping reduce the incarceration rate for drug-related crimes."

Congressman Eliot Engel said, "The abuse of prescription drugs and heroin has become a national epidemic, and New York has not been immune to the problem. As a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, I applaud Governor Cuomo's efforts to combat this deadly public health issue among adolescents and young adults. These federal funds will make a significant impact in that fight."

Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey said, “Every level of government must increase efforts to address the heroin crisis in New York. Too many people in the Lower Hudson Valley, particularly teenagers and young adults, are struggling with heroin and other opioid addictions. I have been working with my colleagues in Congress to bolster efforts to combat this heroin epidemic, and I’m glad these federal funds are available to New York communities in need.”

Congressman José E. Serrano said, “The use of prescription drugs and heroin is becoming increasingly prevalent in our communities, having especially devastating effects on young adults and their families. The funding announced today by the New York State Government will help address a growing epidemic with prevention and public awareness campaigns aimed at vulnerable and high need populations. I applaud Governor Cuomo’s efforts to continue tackling drug addiction in our communities and promote the health and wellness of families in New York City.”

Congressman Nadler said, “I share the Governor’s concern about the abuse of heroin and prescription opioids by teens and young adults. We must continue to work at the federal, state, and local level to prevent drug abuse and save lives.”

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney said, “Heroin and prescription drug abuse, especially among young people, has grown out of control in New York, and Governor Cuomo is taking the problem seriously with an aggressive plan to address it. I have long supported the federal program that is providing an additional $8.1 million in funding. The Combat Heroin effort is already making the difference in the lives of so many New Yorkers, and these additional resources will help so many more.”

Congressman Gregory W. Meeks said, "Heroin and prescription drug addiction is a very serious epidemic affecting thousands of New Yorkers, and millions of Americans throughout the country, every year. This federal grant will go a long way to reduce prescription drug use and misuse and heroin related deaths among the 12-25 year-old-population, the group most at risk. I thank Governor Cuomo for his continued efforts to combat drug addiction and for his commitment to building stronger and better communities throughout the state."

Congressman Joe Crowley said, “Sadly, heroin addiction and prescription drug abuse among our youth continues to be a destructive force for too many families across New York. The federal grant awarded to help combat this terrible epidemic will have a tremendous impact, and I thank Governor Cuomo and the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services for working with us to make sure our local communities have the resources necessary to implement a comprehensive strategy to help prevent young New Yorkers from becoming victims of this growing problem.”

Congressman Steve Israel said, “Working together with Governor Cuomo, local and state officials we can combat prescription drug and heroin abuse at its source. Too many of our families continue to be hurt by the devastating effects of the prescription drug and heroin epidemic on Long Island and this critical funding will help our communities prevent abuse and save lives.”

Congressman Brian Higgins said, “The prescription drug epidemic which often leads to heroin use is increasing at alarming rates and threatening the future and lives of our teens and young adults. This federal funding will help to raise awareness and promote prevention efforts as we work to save families from the heartache of addiction.”

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke said, “I commend Governor Cuomo on his commitment to ending the epidemic of heroin and prescription drug abuse in New York State. The number of young people using heroin and prescription drugs – in every part of New York State – has increased dramatically in recent years. By increasing awareness about the dangers of abusing heroin and prescription drugs, providing services for individuals who have a problem with substance abuse, and expanding access to anti-overdose medication, we will reduce both the number of people dying each year as a result of overdoses and allow people who have become addicted to heroin or prescription drugs to reclaim their lives.”

Congressman Paul Tonko said, “This grant represents an important step for New York State in its fight against heroin and prescription drug abuse. By making this a priority for our communities, we can start to address the root of the problem – ensuring that necessary preventive measures are put in place and that those who need assistance in dealing with their addiction receive the care they need. I look forward to working with Governor Cuomo in taking this problem head-on, and thank him for his strong leadership in dealing with this issue.”

Congressman Tom Reed said, “I welcome the Governor’s action on this important health issue. I have worked with Southern Tier law enforcement and health professionals to bring attention to the damaging effects of drug abuse on our families and communities. This critical funding will save lives and help prevent the corrosive effects that drugs have in our State and Nation.”

Congressman Richard Hanna said, “This epidemic is in every community and touches so many of our neighbors. It is my hope that this funding helps derail this devastating trend and save young lives from the destruction of drug addiction. We must act now before we lose any more people to heroin.”

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney said, “Almost every day I hear about a family and community in the Hudson Valley mourning the loss of a loved one because of prescription drugs or heroin - we can't miss this opportunity to save lives. As we work together in our communities to confront the issue head-on, this investment ensures our community organizations who are working every day to get drugs off our streets have the resources they need to combat drugs in our schools and communities.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng said, “These funds will be a great help in our state’s fight against heroin and prescription drug abuse among teens and young adults. It is critical that we do all we can to combat and prevent addiction, and I thank the Governor for making it a priority.”

Congressman John Katko said, “I applaud Governor Cuomo for his initiative to combat the alarming increase in heroin and prescription drug abuse affecting young people in suburban, urban, and rural communities across New York State. This funding will raise public awareness about the dangers of these harmful substances while providing stronger prevention, treatment, and rehabilitations services to reduce this growing epidemic.”

Congresswoman Kathleen Rice said, “Communities on Long Island and across the state are losing kids every day to overdoses and the throes of addiction, and saving those lives requires aggressive intervention on all fronts and the attention of all levels of government to the explosion of heroin use and prescription drug abuse in New York. These federal funds will support local prevention, treatment and awareness efforts that we know are effective and know will save lives.”

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik said, “This important grant will help provide resources to combat and prevent drug abuse among teens and young adults in New York. Sadly, this problem is far too common among New York families and this grant will help raise awareness about the dangers of these drugs.”

Congressman Lee Zeldin said, “This grant is essential to combating the growing drug crisis we’ve seen on Long Island and throughout New York State. This funding will provide our local communities with the resources necessary to help stop and prevent drug abuse.”

New Yorkers seeking help for drug addiction can access prevention, treatment and recovery information on the #CombatHeroin website or by calling the State's HOPEline at 1-877-846-7369. A list of addiction treatment providers in New York State is available here.

New Yorkers who want to help prevent heroin and prescription drug addiction and its serious consequences are encouraged to share #CombatHeroin campaign posters and PSAs in their local communities and to become trained in anti-opioid overdose response. Combat Heroin campaign materials, including fact sheets and informational flyers, are available in English, Spanish and Russian on the #CombatHeroin website. Information about anti-opioid overdose training is available here.

 

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