Cuomo: NY Must Act to Combat Heroin - NBC New York

Cuomo: NY Must Act to Combat Heroin

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    Cuomo: NY Must Act to Combat Heroin

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is vowing to enact the nation's "best" plan to fight heroin and opioid abuse.

    The Democrat said Wednesday that he will push to pass a comprehensive approach to addiction before lawmakers adjourn their 2016 session next month.

    He said the plan will focus on prevention, treatment and recovery and look for ways to reduce barriers for those seeking help.

    The comments came during a meeting of a state Heroin Task Force on Staten Island, which saw 84 drug-related deaths in 2014.

    The task force is expected to submit its final recommendations to Cuomo on June 1.

    The recently passed state budget includes $167 million to fight heroin and opioid abuse and addiction.

    Earlier this week, Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon said a spike in overdose deaths has left his office overburdened, and that Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council haven't responded to his request for roughly $1 million in new funding for a program that would send addicts to treatment immediately after their first drug arrest.

    "It's an emergency," he said. "We need help now."

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