NY battles heroin abuse with more laws, investigators, naloxone kits

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

New York, NY, United States (4E) – New York has launched a renewed campaign against heroin abuse, deaths and trafficking with new laws, more narcotics crime investigators and the supply of heroin overdose antidotes to all first responders.

The New York state senate on Thursday passed 11 new laws aimed at preventing opioid abuse and overdose, increasing the availability and efficacy of addiction treatment, and criminalizing fraudulent prescription and sale of controlled substances.

The new laws complement Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan of doubling the number of Community Narcotics Enforcement Team investigators to 200, the supply to all first responders in New York of naxolone, a heroin and opioid antidote, and heroin awareness campaign in public colleges and universities. He announced the plans on June 11.

Citing statistics, Cuomo said the rate of seizures of heroin has gone up 67 percent in the past four years. In 2011, 11 died from heroin overdose and another 24 in 2013, according to the Dutchess County Department of Health.

The governor said there were 89,269 cases of heroin and prescription opiate treatment admissions in New York last year, a 40 percent increase over the past decade. Most of those admitted were people 18 to 24 years old.

Records show that the number of Dutchess County residents seeking treatment or heroin and opiate addiction at state-certified facilities jumped from 602 in 2004 to 2,055 last year. In Ulster County, the number rose from 344 to 836 during the same period.

The new laws hope to address the problem. Among them are S7904 creating a new model of detoxification and transitional services, S7909 enabling parents to seek services for children suffering from substance abuse, and S7912 that promotes the affordability of substance abuse services.

Sen. Kemp Hannon, sponsor of S7904, said the bill directs the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) to establish a new model of care, on a demonstration basis, to help those trying to detox from heroin when hospital-level care isn’t necessary.

“This diversion program will provide short-term, peer-supported, community-based treatment, and avoid unnecessary emergency room costs,” Hannon said. “By demonstrating new approaches statewide, OASAS will be able to study and report back on the effectiveness of these new models while, more importantly, addressing the needs of individuals suffering from addiction now.”

S7909 provides that a minor child alleged to be suffering from a substance use disorder may receive an assessment for such disorder as part of the Person in Need of Supervision (PINS) diversion services and may access a variety of services through the PINS diversion process.

S7912 requires insurers to comply with federal substance abuse parity laws, strengthens and standardizes the utilization review process for determining insurance coverage for substance abuse treatment disorders, and requires insurers to continue to provide and reimburse for treatment throughout the appeals process.

ponsor Sen. James L. Seward said the bill will help ensure that a heroin addict’s attempt to seek help will not be lost because of burdensome insurance paperwork, the denial of services by a bureaucrat who isn’t medically qualified to make such a decision, or drawn-out appeals.

Co-sponsor Sen. Patty Ritchie said, “There are a significant number of people who are addicted to heroin and looking for help, but can’t get it due to insurance roadblocks. Access to treatment was one of the top issues raised during the recent Task Force forum held in Watertown, and I’m pleased that my bill to expand insurance coverage for treating heroin addiction will now become law, giving those who are seeking to break free from the scourge of heroin a fighting chance.”

New York has a number of in-patient and outpatient rehab facilities that treat drug addiction, including alcohol and tobacco abuse. The rehabilitation includes detoxification, psychotherapy, support groups and individual counseling.

Brady Granier, COO of BioCorRx Inc. (OTC: BICX), one of the premier opioid and alcohol addiction rehabilitation companies in the U.S., said, “It’s time for more attention to be given to newer treatment options that exist today to break the addiction cycle, while newer prevention programs are explored at the same time.”

Granier is referring to the company’s two-step Start Fresh Program (SFP), wherein a patient’s addiction is first controlled and eliminated by a biodegradable extended-release Naltrexone implant before the administration of psycho-social coaching.

The implant is inserted under the patient’s skin and releases doses of Naltrexone into the patients’ bloodstream for several months to stop craving for alcohol or opioid.

Once the cravings for alcohol and/or opioids are curbed, 6-8 months of exclusive life coaching sessions follow. The SFP sessions involve only the patient, their accompanying recovery partner, and the treatment professional as BioCorRx finds individualized therapy more effective than group therapy.

Past clinic reports have shown that patients who completed the entire program had over an 85% success rate with sobriety after one year of program start date, according to BioCorRx.

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