NY Senate Votes to Enhance Substance Abuse Treatment in Prisons
So as many people know, the opioid epidemic over recent years has managed to infect and affect numerous towns and cities across the country and it continues to rage on today. New York state in particular has been heavily affected by the opioid crisis and many counties here in the Hudson Valley have been some of the most affected regions.
The New York State Senate recently made a move to address the issue, at least in part. The state senate voted on a measure that would address the issue of substance abuse treatment in our state prisons. The measure itself passed in a unanimous fashion.
What Are the Specific Goals After Passing this Measure?
First off, we need to define exactly what a 'measure' is. When it comes to legal jargon, things can get confusing quickly, so when I looked it up a 'measure' as defined by Congress is...
A legislative vehicle: a bill, joint resolution, concurrent resolution, or simple resolution.
In this situation, this measure will attempt to address what lawmakers are calling the 'gaps' in treatment programs that are currently available in our correctional facilities. As Senator Peter Harckham stated...
Fighting the opioid overdose crisis in New York must include making medication-assisted treatment for incarcerated individuals in correctional facilities part of the essential healthcare course....
Methods to the Measure and Meeting the Goal
While no plans specifically have been made or have been put into action at this moment, one of the methods could be to open medicated-assisted treatment for prisons. In this case, medicated assisted treatment would be access to methadone or buprenorphine which are commonly used drugs to aid with substance abuse disorders. In many instances when individuals enter prisons, they begin dealing with painful withdrawal symptoms.
Another method that was mentioned in the report by spectrum news stated that opening 'transition services' at state prisons is also possible. In this case, transition services would be in the form of peer specialists and community treatment centers. Legislators in support of the approved measure were also very much in favor of peer-led recovery methods. Dr. Angelia Smith Wilson stated that this bill being passed 'expands the reach of recovery services regardless of where individuals may be in their recovery journey or in this case where they physically are located'. Dr. Smith Wilson is also the executive director for Friends of Recovery NY.
Check This Out: Sullivan County Coroner Update on Battle Against Opioid Crisis
Legislation of this nature is a step in the right direction to combating the opioid epidemic in its totality. More action undoubtedly will be needed going forward in future attempts to get this epidemic under control.