April 1, 2016

Approved SFY 2016-2017 State Budget Includes
Funding to Combat the Heroin and Opioid Abuse Epidemic

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Chair of the Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Linda Rosenthal today announced the approved SFY 2016-2017 budget will include funding to help tackle the state's growing heroin and opioid abuse epidemic.

"The final budget includes funding that addresses the overwhelming heroin and opioid abuse epidemic that has touched every community the state," said Heastie. "We know that we can no longer simply criminalize those who are struggling with addiction. Instead, we need a real solution that includes supporting the crucial and often life-saving prevention, treatment and recovery services to make meaningful change for the future of New York State."

"Too many lives have been lost or torn apart by substance use and addiction, and I am so proud that this year's budget allocation recognizes the magnitude of the crisis in New York State," said Rosenthal. "We will continue to implement a comprehensive and compassionate plan to provide increased funding to expand the programs and services that individuals suffering from heroin and opioid abuse so desperately need."

The approved budget includes $25 million for the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services to implement a Heroin and Opiate Treatment Prevention Package. Additionally, $2 million has been included to support Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention Specialists (SAPIS) in order to continue providing programming in New York City Schools.

The Department of Environmental Conservation has been allocated $1 million in the budget to conduct drug collection programs. The programs would include the purchase and distribution of tamper proof drug collection boxes and other federally approved drug collection programs to help protect the environment from harmful substances and reduce the risk of addiction through the safe and responsible disposal of opioid pharmaceutical drugs.