March 7, 2016

Assembly Budget Proposal Includes $30 Million
to Combat Heroin Epidemic

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Committee Chair Linda Rosenthal announced today the Assembly's SFY 2016-17 budget proposal includes $30 million in funding to help New York in its fight against heroin addiction. The funding would allow for the expansion of heroin and opiate abuse treatment and support programs.

"All across New York State, it has become clear that we need to step up our game in the fight against heroin and opiate addiction," said Heastie. "It has taken too many lives and touched too many homes. That's why the Assembly has proposed to increase funding significantly from last year."

The proposal allocates $15 million for treatment and preventative services, which would include an expansion of heroin treatment services to specifically target underserved areas and underserved populations. In an effort to support individuals who have recently completed treatment and to assist those trying to maintain their recovery status, the proposal designates $9 million to post-treatment community-based recovery services. The remaining $6 million would be used to fund patient engagement programs which help individuals find treatment options and support them on their road to recovery.

"New York is facing a heroin and opioid addiction epidemic, and we must allocate resources to ensure robust prevention, education and treatment to help save lives," said Rosenthal. "Our communities can no longer afford to continue the criminalization of those who desperately need our help. Instead, we must empower them with the support they need to recover and regain their lives."

In addition to the $30 million proposal, the Assembly also intends to restore $2 million to fund Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention Specialists (SAPIS) in New York City schools.