Overdose deaths involving opioids have killed more than half a million people over the past two decades. This public health crisis has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, with some counties like Albany reporting an increase of 60% in drug-related overdose deaths. But there is hope for a better future: the forthcoming state opioid settlement could help turn the tide.
It’s critical that incoming settlement money is actually spent on what it was intended for: prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery services. Unfortunately, this is not a guarantee. In fact, just a few months ago, it was revealed that New York has directed the vast majority of initial settlement dollars from McKinsey & Company not toward addiction programs, but into the state’s general treasury. That’s unacceptable, and we cannot afford to miss another opportunity to protect forthcoming opioid settlement monies.
We are urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign A6395 / S7194 into law.
This bill will protect settlement dollars by creating a special state fund that adds to existing resources to address substance use, ensuring money is not diverted away for other uses unrelated to the addiction crisis.
Please send a message to the Governor today and demand that he sign this critical bill into law!