Assemblyman Scott Bendett Hosts “Finding Hope” Panel Discussion on the Overdose Crisis in New York

Assemblyman Scott Bendett (R,C-Sand Lake) and stakeholders sat down to discuss what strategies are working and what can be improved through legislative changes.

Assemblyman Scott Bendett (R,C-Sand Lake) held a “Finding Hope” roundtable discussion on Friday, April 12 in Valatie on the overdose crisis facing communities throughout his district and the state. He was joined by Sen. Michelle Hinchey (D,WF-41st S.D.), Columbia County Sheriff Donald Krapf and Dr. William Murphy. Other speakers included medical professionals, treatment specialists, first responders and law enforcement, impacted family members and individuals in recovery. The group discussed treatments, challenges faced by first responders, new strategies that could be explored and the human impact of the crisis.

“As elected representatives and community stakeholders, it is our collective duty to address the pressing issues that plague our communities. The overdose crisis gripping our district and state demands immediate attention and collaborative action. The conversations we had today were sobering, but not without hope. We brought together diverse perspectives to explore solutions, support those in recovery and confront the devastating impact of opioid addiction. I applaud all of the hard work and healing done by families and those in recovery,” said Bendett.

Many of those addicted to these drugs were first exposed to opioids through prescribed pain medications. However, as individuals develop a use disorder, they seek access to cheaper and more available heroin and fentanyl. Even still, those who took other illicit drugs recreationally are being exposed to fentanyl and its potent analogs as they are becoming common additives to increase potency and addictiveness.

In New York, opioid overdose deaths increased by an unfathomable 351% from 2010 to 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An 83% increase in the use of naloxone was administered during emergency service calls statewide in 2021 compared to 2015. A lethal dose of fentanyl is about 2 milligrams.