State Senate Democrats aim to combat substance use disorder with new plan

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State Senate Democrats announced a plan Tuesday to help combat substance abuse. According to the state's Health Department, around 2 million New Yorkers suffer from substance use disorder.

Every year, hundreds of people from the lower Hudson Valley seek drug treatment at the Counseling Center at Yorktown Heights.

In 2018, 3,300 New Yorkers died from an opioid-related overdose, which represents an 11% decrease from the year before.

Despite the Yorktown facility's best work, the fight against the opioid epidemic is an uphill battle against stigma, funding and resources.

"We need as many tools as we can have to you know, combat this illness," says counseling center director Dair Melendez

Included in the package of bills discussed by lawmakers are steps to expand access to safer prescriptions and the ability to grant more access to the lifesaving drug naloxone.

"All of New York state has suffered because of the crisis and that's why we've taken action to combat it," says New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

 

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