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NY lawmakers battle heroin abuse

New York State lawmakers have agreed on eight bills to battle the growing heroin epidemic in New York.

To be part of this change thats happening in New York, and New York will be a role model for other states, Im proud to be part of this legislation change, said Lori Drescher whose son has been battling heroin addiction for several years.

I think wed like to believe a couple weeks of inpatient treatment and a little counseling get it all squared away and that just isnt the case, said Dr. Michael Foster, Clinical Director at Unity Chemical Dependency.

The new legislation calls for insurance companies to provide better coverage for substance-abuse treatment.

We have to treat addicted people with compassion and with the appropriate drugs, said Drescher. To think that for this long, insurance companies determined what kind of treatment is appropriate is pretty sick.

I think its better for our patients to have more of a fair shot at getting the treatment that they deserve and I think its good for families so that they can see their loved ones in the most appropriate place for their addiction, said Whitney Mikiciuk, Addiction Therapist Supervisor at Unity Chemical Dependency.

First responders will also be required to have an anti-overdose kit containing the drug naloxone. Included will be an information card on how to use the drug and how to recognize symptoms of a heroin and opioid overdose.

The bills also call for harsher penalties for drug dealers. There will also be a statewide public awareness campaign to prevent opioid use.

 
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