Lawmakers introduce bills to address opioid crisis

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A series of bills introduced at the New York Capitol would address the opioid epidemic.

“130 Americans die every day to an overdose, Sen. David Carlucci said.

The opioid crisis is an issue New York Lawmakers say affects people of all walks of life.

“The devastating impact of the opioid epidemic does not discriminate against urban, suburban or rural communities,” NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said.

The Joint Senate Task Force on Opioids, Addiction and Overdose has a report on prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery. Lawmakers say it can be used as a blueprint for future policies.

One piece of legislation on the table bans insurance companies from unfairly discriminating against people who take prescriptions to “block the effects of opioids.” Another bill that passed the Senate last year but didn’t make it through the Assembly was “Stephen’s Law.”

“The purpose of Stephen’s Law is ensuring people struggling with substance use disorder and mental health have a choice to appoint a family member or a delegate to share information during their treatment,” Stephen’s mother, Angela Robertson, said.

That person would be notified in the event of an emergency such as a missed appointment or an overdose.

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