New York Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke at a Long Island Addiction Recovery Center this week about his efforts to fight the opioid epidemic in the state. Cuomo’s recent budget allocates nearly $200 million to combat the crisis, double previous funding.
Cuomo described how heroin is specifically hurting rural and suburban communities.
“And I believe it is the worst drug scourge that this nation has ever faced. This is worse than crack, this is worse than meth, this is worse than old time heroin. It's not just an illegal drug, it's a legal drug, which makes it more insidious in many ways.”
New York State has seen the number of opioid-related deaths double. Nassau County has seen eight times as many deaths since 2015, and Suffolk County has seen four times as many since 2015.
The increased budget will help expand facilities for people who need treatment, including more beds and more state-operated facilities. It will also help fund a community coalition with an emphasis on early intervention.