Gov. Cuomo Announces Crackdown on Opioid Abuse

Posted on October 13, 2017 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Gov. Mario Cuomo -- joined by Catholic Charities Staten Island CEO Vincent Ignizio and fellow leaders -- visited Staten Island, the epicenter of New York City’s opioid storm, to introduce at Catholic Charities in Mt. Loretto a major crackdown in the battle against opioid abuse.

Gov. Cuomo chose Staten Island for this announcement because of the overwhelming number of opioid-related deaths here.  While New York City underwent a huge increase in the past year of opioid-caused deaths - 310% - the number in Staten Island spiked by 700%.

Losing the battle against opioids 

During his visit, Gov. Cuomo pointed out that more people died from the opioid fentanyl than from

  • The AIDS epidemic at its peak
  • Gun deaths
  • The Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq wars combined

And while heroin has become synonymous with death, the opioid fentanyl is 50 times more powerful.  Three milligrams of fentanyl – compared with 30 milligrams of heroin - can kill.

Dealers and drug makers manned with heavy artillery
  • Since fentanyl is an illegal chemical compound, dealers who manufacture and sell these opioids add new chemicals to avoid the latest definitions for illegal substances.

  • Many insurance companies enact dangerously low reimbursement limits for Naloxone, a heroin antidote that saves lives.
Fighting back, Gov. Cuomo is promoting legislation to
  • Add 11 types of fentanyl to the controlled substance list
  • Allow law enforcement to crack down harder on drug dealers
  • Direct Insurers to cover reimbursements for appropriate Naloxone opoid reversal drugs
Catholic Charities joins Gov. Cuomo, taking opioid addiction head on 

Our new Heroin Epidemic Archdiocesan Response Team,  “H.E.A.R.T,” partners with Staten Island University Hospital to provide NARCAN training for CYO coaches, referees, and any parish seeking assistance, as well as Carl's House, a Staten Island recovery center to refer those in need of treatment to a proper facility. 

The program also offers referrals for counseling services through Catholic Charities Parish Counseling Network.  This includes up to six counseling sessions for families in need for $10 per session. 

“We have to cut off the head of the snake,” Gov. Cuomo says. “This is about protecting New Yorkers from a scourge.”

View Catholic Charities resources on addiction and substance abuse.

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