New York Opioid Crisis

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New York Opioid Crisis

After an exhaustive search through news, articles, and press releases from government and independent media sources, the research team did not find any involvement of Andrew Cuomo in the opioid crisis in New York before his election as state governor. However, the team found information on Andrew Cuomo that is related to the opioid crisis from when he became the governor of the state. Some of these involvements are legislation to combat heroin and opioid epidemic, federal funding to combat the opioid crisis, the launch of a new addiction treatment facility, calls to ban fentanyl analogs, and a lawsuit against the drug industry.

Legislation to Combat Heroin and Opioid Epidemic

  • In June 2014, Gov. Cuomo endorsed legislation that was aimed at combating the rising epidemic of heroin and opioid in communities across the state of New York.
  • The legislation included "new programs and insurance reforms to improve treatment options for individuals suffering from heroin and opioid addiction; measures to strengthen penalties and put in place additional tools for law enforcement to crack down on the distribution of illegal drugs; provisions to ensure the proper and safe use of naloxone, an overdose antidote; and support for enhanced public awareness campaigns to prevent drug abuse."
  • Gov. Cuomo was quoted saying: "heroin has become a public health crisis in communities across the nation, but today New York State is taking a stand to turn the tide on this epidemic. This legislation builds on actions that we have already initiated by strengthening our laws, improving treatment supports, instituting tougher penalties for traffickers, and training first responders and other emergency or law enforcement personnel in how to use a life-saving anti-overdose medicine."

Federal Funding to Combat Opioid Crisis

  • In 2018, Gov. Cuomo announced a $25.2 million federal fund, under the Opioid State Targeted Response Grant, for the fight against the opioid crisis in the state.
  • The fund was made available to expand initiatives toward combating the opioid epidemic.
  • Speaking on the fund, Gov. Cuomo noted that the fund was to be distributed to "programs that offer prevention, treatment, and recovery services in high-need areas across the state to increase access to treatment, and reduce unmet need and overdose-related deaths."

The Launch of a New Addiction Treatment Facility

  • In 2018, the state of New York opened a new facility to aid in the treatment of addiction.
  • The facility was located at SBH Binghamton Evaluation Center and contained 50 medically supervised withdrawal and stabilization beds or detox beds.
  • Speaking at the opening of the facility, Gov. Cuomo said: "As addiction continues to devastate communities across the country, New York is redoubling its efforts to fight this epidemic. The expansion of treatment services in the Southern Tier will allow us to attack this problem head-on, and provide aid and resources to those seeking help."

Calls to Ban Fentanyl Analogs

  • In 2019, Gov. Cuomo proposed the banning of fentanyl analogs.
  • The call to outlaw fentanyl analogs was part of the governor's effort to combat the opioid crisis in the state.
  • Fentanyl analogs are seen as "50 to 100 times more potent than morphine."
  • Gov. Cuomo was quoted saying: "The opioid epidemic is a public health crisis that continues to ravage too many communities across this country. In New York, we have taken aggressive action to combat this disease, and we are seeing results with the first reduction in opioid deaths in 10 years."

Lawsuit Against the Drug Industry

  • In 2019, Gov. Cuomo made known his intention to file a lawsuit against the drug industry for the over-prescription of opioids.
  • The lawsuit was to seek fines and restitution amounting to $2 billion from over 50 manufacturers, distributors, pharmacy benefit managers, and insurers.
  • Speaking on this, Gov. Cuomo said: "The opioid scheme is as diabolical, as brazen, as obnoxious, and as offensive as anything I have seen. They knew what they were doing. This was not accidental. The damage has been immeasurable. We have to make sure that the drug industry does not get away with it."

Research Strategy

To provide information specific to the involvement of Andrew Cuomo in the opioid crisis in New York before he was elected governor of the state, your research team searched through government press releases, independent media sources, and news articles from third-party media sources. We hoped to find news, interviews, and press releases about Andrew Cuomo that is related to the opioid crisis in New York from his time as the attorney general of New York (2007–2010). We also extended our search to scour through archives of the New York government. However, no information related to Andrew Cuomo and the opioid crisis in New York during this period was available. All publicly available information on Andrew Cuomo that is related to the opioid crisis came from when he became the governor of the state.
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