State Police to Assign More Investigators to Combat Heroin Abuse
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday a statewide effort to crack down on heroin abuse as statistics show a surge in heroin deaths and treatment, particularly in Upstate Counties.
The number of drug-related deaths in New York increased from 940 in 2004 to 2,044 in 2012.
Additionally, the number of people seeking treatment for heroin and opiate addiction has doubled in many parts of upstate since 2004.
In response the governor said State Police will add 100 investigators to combat the rise in heroin use and expand access to naloxone, the leading overdose antidote. The troopers will be part of the Community Narcotics Enforcement Team.
The change will nearly double the number of troopers currently serving in the unit.
Cuomo’s efforts dovetail with attempts by the State Legislature to enact stronger laws that would make treatment more available, require insurance companies to pay more for treatments and stiffen laws against sale and possession of heroin.
A package of 25 bills have passed the State Senate in recent weeks, but the Democratic-led Assembly has yet to act. The legislative session ends next week.