Albany – Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz (Brooklyn-51st AD), Chair of the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee, Karen Carpenter-Palumbo, Commissioner of Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and Senator Thomas Duane were among those who participated in the Friends of Recovery - New York’s (FOR-NY) First Annual Legislative Day. The event was held on Tuesday, February 2nd at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Albany, New York. FOR-NY is a statewide coalition of people in recovery from addiction. This coalition helps people struggling with addiction to reclaim their lives and became productive members of society.
Ortiz was honored to be a guest speaker for the event, and was able to share his enthusiasm and support for FOR-NY. “For 35 years, New York State had the harshest drug laws in the nation and did nothing to help those struggling with an addiction. However, because of the support from groups like Friends of Recovery, we have been able to achieve reform to the Rockefeller Drug Laws. These reforms will allow individuals and their families to receive the prevention, treatment, and recovery services they need.” said Ortiz.
The Friends of Recovery program is one of many that may be in jeopardy because of the State’s current budget dilemma. Ortiz, a strong advocate of the program, is pushing for legislation (A.6738) to increase the tax on alcoholic beverages. If he is successful with passage of this bill, 70% of the revenue raised would be dedicated to OASAS for programs such as the Friends of Recovery.