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State task force makes recommendations to fight NY drug crisis

ALBANY, N.Y. (WBNG) — New York State senators are offering new steps they feel will help end the heroin and  opioid epidemic.

The New York State Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction released its annual report on Wednesday, which includes 11 recommendations to use resources to help underserved populations and support systems already in place.

Below are the recommendations made in the report:

  • Support recruitment and retention of  healthcare professionals trained to treat substance abuse disorder by increasing resources
  • Upgrade the I-STOP Prescription Monitoring Program, aimed at interstate monitoring the potential over-prescription of opioids
  • Get the most out of federal funding to help support more children at the state’s newly-established Infant Recovery Centers
  • Reduce the cost of naloxone and enhance public education and outreach on naloxone use
  • Explore the further limitation of initial opioid prescriptions for acute pain to three days from the current seven days, with certain medical exceptions
  • Require enhanced treatment plans for patients after the first month of opioid use, instead of waiting until the current 90-day standard
  • Improve access to treatment in rural parts of the state, such as establishing Centers for Excellence on Substance Use Disorder
  • Authorize hospital-community-healthcare-SUD treatment professional collaboration programs to facilitate innovation in meeting community health care needs
  • Improve the use and collection of data to better identify, investigate, and prosecute high-volume opioid prescribers
  • Enhance and create appropriate criminal punishments for drug dealers who sell substances that result in death
  • Expand health insurance coverage options for medical marijuana

The report was compiled in part by task force representatives traveling across New York State and attending public hearings.

Click here to read the full report.

David Hermanovitch

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