De Blasio Announces Plan to Combat Opioid Epidemic

Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that New York City will spend an additional $22 million to combat the opioid crisis.

The money will expand HealingNYC by creating peer intervention programs at more hospitals and increasing naloxone distribution and training.  It will also connection more New Yorkers struggling with substance abuse to treatment.

"The opioid epidemic has destroyed lives and hurt families across the country. In New York City, we are harnessing every tool to stop this deadly surge in its track,” Mayor de Blasio said. “This new investment will help to save more lives and connect those struggling with addiction to treatment.”

HealingNYC was launched in March 2017 to deal with a surge in overdose deaths.  In 2016, more New Yorkers died from drug overdose than suicides, homicides and car accidents combined.  The city believes that expanding HealingNYC could save upwards of 400 lives by 2022.

“Addiction is a chronic disease, and people suffering from any disease need our help and support, not our judgment or punishment,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray.

With the new $22 million investment, New York City will now spend $60 million ever year to reduce opioid overdose deaths.

On the same day that the mayor announced an expansion of HealingNYC, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that nearly $1 million has been awarded to establish four new addiction support centers in New York City.  They will be located in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island and will provide addiction prevention and recovery services.

"The impacts of addiction are devastating and we will continue to provide addiction and recovery services to all New Yorkers in need until the fight against this epidemic is won," Governor Cuomo said.

Photo Credit:  Getty Images

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