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Cuomo signs new heroin law
Rochester, N.Y. - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo toured parts of Western New York today, signing into law a much-touted piece of legislation aimed at stopping the increase in heroin addictions across the state.
"It's a wave increasing exponentially and we're trying to get ahead of it," said Cuomo, just prior to signing the bill into law in Rochester. "This is a problem for every person in this room, and we recognize that, and we accept it."
According to Governor Cuomo, the new law will include new programs and insurance reforms to improve treatment options for individuals suffering from heroin and opioid addiction, while also increasing tools for police across the state to better track the distribution of illegal drugs.
Cuomo said almost 1/3 of all heroin seized in the U.S. is seized in New York State.
"Deaths by heroin have doubled in just the past four years," he added.
The law will also make it possible for all police officers to have naloxone, a drug used to save lives in the event of heroin overdoses.
"We're doing everything we can," Cuomo said. "It ranges from law enforcement to education assistance in schools and college campuses."
According to the Monroe County Medical Examiner's office, local heroin deaths are up 600% in the last two years.