Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jan 2017
Source: Journal News, The (NY)
Copyright: 2017 The Gannett Company, Inc.


[photo] The state senator wants more drug disposal sites and access to
medication to treat addiction.

NEW CITY - Opioid deaths, including fatal heroin overdoses, are on the
rise in Rockland County, where state Sen. David Carlucci is pushing a pair
of proposals to help addicts.

There were 37 opioid deaths in Rockland last year, up from 25 in 2015,
according to a report from the Rockland County Medical Examiner's Office.

That's compared to 36 opioid deaths in total between 2003 and 2009 in
Rockland, according to Carlucci's office.

Carlucci's office was not able to provide reliable recent opioid death
figures for Westchester County.

"Our community cannot allow this alarming trend to continue," Carlucci,
D-Clarkstown, said in a statement. "There are options available for us to
fight this trend and it begins with recognizing how bad the problem has
become over time."

On Jan. 4, Carlucci introduced a bill in the Senate to require that chain
pharmacies throughout the state operate as drug disposal sites for
unwanted drugs.

Carlucci also said he will advocate during the state budget process for
more access to medication-assisted treatment, including buprenorphine, a
drug that is used to treat opioid addiction in higher doses. Recent
federal legislation has authorized more health providers to prescribe
buprenorphine, he said, and New York should try to double the amount of
training this year for health care practitioners to use the drug.

Carlucci also continues to provide periodic training sessions on
administering Naloxone, also known as Narcan, which is used to reverse the
effects of an opioid overdose. The next scheduled training is April 27 at
7 p.m. at the Suffern Free Library.
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