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Addiction is a scourge plaguing communities across the nation, spanning all socioeconomic backgrounds, and devastating countless families and individuals both young and old. Nationally, more than two million Americans are currently dependent on or abusing prescription pain pills and street drugs, and every day this epidemic claims the lives of more than 115 people.

This is the deadliest drug problem our nation has ever seen.

In the State Assembly, Joe has doubled-down on his commitment to attacking this epidemic head-on by continuously supporting funding increases for addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery programs (2018-18 NYS Budget). Joe helped implement the Opioid Addiction Treatment and Hospital Diversion Demonstration Program (A10159), and he worked to pass legislation that strengthened penalties for practitioners or pharmacists who illegally sell prescription drugs (A10154).

In addition, Joe fought to pass legislation strengthening prescriber education requirements, requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for a minimum of 14 days of inpatient addiction treatment without prior authorization and mandate a seven-day limit on a patient’s first prescription of opioid medication (A10272). And Joe helped establish a first-in-the-nation opioid stewardship payment on manufacturers and distributors of opioids to fund the fight against the opioid epidemic (2018-18 NYS Budget).

Unfortunately, despite these efforts, the opioid crisis has continued to spread with devastating effects. That is why if elected to Congress, Joe will fight tirelessly to develop and implement comprehensive addiction prevention and treatment strategies that prevent future generations from falling victim to the cycle of addiction.

In Congress, Joe will be committed to taking the following actions:

  • Work to destigmatize addiction through increased public education and awareness campaigns;

  • Support passage of the Opioid PACE Act, which would improve prescriber education and pain management training programs;

  • Improve Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) and implement policies that limit the prescribing of opioids and crack down on fentanyl trafficking;

  • Support the expansion of Drug Court and the divert individuals struggling with addiction from prison and into treatment programs;

  • Support the passage of the Opioid Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, which would provide funding for training on how to safely administer naloxone;

  • Increase investments in and expand access to addiction treatment and recovery and rehabilitation programs;

  • Hold pharmaceutical companies and distributors accountable for playing a central role in the spread of the opioid epidemic.