WOODBURY - The New York State Senate has approved nearly two dozen bills intended to curb heroin use, including a measure that would make it easier for addicts to obtain treatment.
The measure provides greater insurance coverage to people seeking treatment for heroin, pills or any other addictive drug.
State Sen. Phil Boyle (R – Bay Shore), who chaired a task force on the heroin epidemic, says the legislation allows health care specialists and drug addiction specialists to determine who gets covered, not insurance companies.
“This is a huge victory that will mean better and quicker access to care for folks who are struggling not only with opiate addiction, but all forms of addiction,” says Jeff Reynolds, of the Long Island Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence.
With just 10 days to go before the state Legislature breaks for the year, there's now a rush to work out differences between the bills passed by the Senate and state Assembly. Only after that can Gov. Andrew Cuomo sign anything into law.
Another bill passed by the Senate would allow schools to carry Narcan, which is used to save people who are overdosing from heroin.