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NYS Senate Passes Legislation To Combat The Opioid Epidemic

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The New York State Senate passed a package of bills on Tuesday to continue the fight against the opioid and heroin epidemic that the state is facing.

This legislation is just another step lawmakers are taking to combat the epidemic. The state budget awarded $214 million to prevent, treat, and educate people about opioids this year. 

Senator James Seward, Member of the Senate's Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, says the legislation will help to save lives. 

"More must be done to stop the flow of these deadly drugs into our communities. As well as punish those who are constantly trying to find new angles to get our people hooked," said Seward. "These new measures are part of a comprehensive strategy that will enhance our ongoing efforts."

If the bills are enacted drug dealers will be held more accountable and opioid regulations will be improved. 

One of the fourteen bills hopes to establish homicide by sale of an opiate as a crime. Currently, when someone dies after taking an opiate the provider is typically charged with sale of an opiate. 

Senator Fred Akshar sponsored four of the bills. They aim to create drug free zones around treatment centers, prevent treatment centers from preying on addicts who want to recover, require physicians to disclose all opioid risks with their patients and written parental consent for opioids prescribed to minors.

The bills have been sent to the assembly. To be turned into law they must be passed in the assembly and signed by Governor Cuomo before the legislative session ends on June 21.