“As an elected official, as a mother, and as the aunt of a nephew who died at 23 years young from an opioid addiction, I’m calling on Governor Cuomo to sign the opioid lockbox legislation (A6395). This legislation, which passed unanimously in both houses, would ensure that every penny obtained from the multiple drug manufacturer lawsuits goes to community organizations helping those struggling with drug addiction issues.
“I want to commend Attorney General Leticia James for her outstanding work in holding those drug manufacturers accountable. She and her amazing team of assistant attorneys general have secured millions of dollars from the opioid manufacturers for their role in fueling this crisis by lying to the public and claiming these drugs were not highly addictive, knowing full well they were.Those misrepresentations caused teenagers, athletes, parents, and even grandparents to take the substance without knowing the risks, only to find out too late that they had become addicted to a powerful drug. Those actions have destroyed families and caused immeasurable pain and loss.
“If we truly want to end this opioid epidemic, which has only worsened during the pandemic, we must ensure that the settlement money goes where it was intended to go – to help those struggling with the disease of addiction.It is not only a public health issue; it is a criminal justice reform issue.Many addicts want help, but they can’t afford it. So they end up stealing. They end up in jail. They end up homeless. They end up dead, like my nephew.
“So, I’m asking that Governor Cuomo sign the opioid lockbox legislation today and ensure money is available to save lives.”