With opioid-overdose deaths on the rise, Rep. Maloney, addiction survivors and drug treatment experts call on Congress to fund new federal opioid programs

Aug 2, 2016
Press Release

NEW YORK—Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) joined Warren Zysman, CEO of Addiction Case Interventions (ACI), Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, and survivors of opioid addictions Jyvette Hillman, Eric Dominguez, and Sherman Morris, to call on Congress to fully fund the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) that President Obama signed into law Friday, July 22, 2016. CARA created over several new federal programs to combat opioid abuse, but Congress has yet to provide the funding for these new programs.

“CARA could be a great step in the fight against opioid abuse, which claims the lives of over 28,000 Americans a year,” said Rep. Maloney. “Without dollars, however, CARA will be nothing more than another empty promise. Republicans in Congress need to put their money where their mouth is and allow a vote to actually fund the fight against opioid abuse.”

"Show us the money," said Assemblymember Rosenthal. "While we wait for the Republicans in Congress to agree to appropriate desperately needed funding, thousands of Americans, our mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers and children, are losing their battles with substance abuse and addiction. These resources will fund prevention, education, treatment and recovery programs that will save American lives, and it's time the Republicans in Congress put away the rhetoric and put in the money. I applaud Congresswoman Maloney for shining a light on the urgent need for funding during this opioid addiction crisis."

"There is a severe drug epidemic in NYC that has caused a major public health crisis,” said Warren Zysman, CEO of ACI. “We need congress to act now to stop this epidemic and to protect our community.  I applaud Representative Maloney's proactive efforts to fight the war on drugs."

The final version of CARA passed the Senate on July 13, 2016 by a vote of 92-2, and the House of Representatives on July 6, 2016 by a vote of 407-5. CARA allows for the creation of programs to:

  • Enhance collaboration between criminal justice and substance abuse agencies;
  • Develop, implement, or expand programs to prevent, treat, or respond to opioid abuse;
  • Train first responders to administer opioid overdose reversal drug, naloxone; and
  • Investigate unlawful opioid distribution activities.

These programs could be important steps forward in helping those suffering from addiction, but only if Congress follows through with funding.

Background:

From 2000 to 2013, rates of overdose death from prescription pain relievers increased 256% in New York City. In 2013, about 1 New Yorker died every other day from an opioid analgesic overdose. The majority of these deaths are entirely preventable.

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s 2015 Report on Unintentional Drug Poisoning (Overdose) Deaths in New York City in: Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn

 

NYS Deaths due to Opioid Overdose

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

1100

1030

956

1265

1361

1601

 

Deaths due to Heroin Overdose, Annual Mean (2009-2013):

  • Kings: 29, rate per 100K residents: 1.1
  • New York: 30, rate per 100K residents: 1.7
  • Queens: 33, rate per 100K residents: 1.4

 

Deaths due to Opioid Overdose, Annual Mean (2009-2013):

  • Kings: 93, rate per 100K residents: 3.6
  • New York: 49, rate per 100K residents: 2.8
  • Queens: 60, rate per 100K residents: 2.4

 

Opioid-Related Emergency Department Admissions by County of Residence, 2013 and 2014

  • Kings: 4238, 5174
  • New York: 2818, 3164
  • Queens: 1656, 1836

 

Source: NYS Department of Health

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