Hochul signs package of bills aimed to reduce drug overdose deaths

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Gov. Kathy Hochul Thursday signed legislation aimed at reducing drug overdose deaths in New York.

One of the bills decriminalizes possession of so-called “opioid antagonists” — drugs that attach to the body’s opioid receptors without activating them. Another bill establishes an online directory for distributors of opioid antagonists that will be maintained by the Office of Addiction Services and Supports on their website.

Another bill works to establish a program for medication-assisted addiction treatment for incarcerated people in state and local correctional facilities.

Another decriminalizes the possession and sale of hypodermic needles and syringes.

The final bill in the package expands the number of eligible crimes where people with addictions can be sentenced to a treatment program instead of prison.

This comes after the U.S. saw a record-breaking 93,000 deaths from overdoses in 2020.

If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has resources available here.