Advocates urge Gov. Hochul to declare addiction public health emergency
ALBANY, NY (WENY)--THIS WEEK ADVOCATES TRAVELed TO ALBANY AND RALLY ON THE CAPITOL STEPS URGING THE GOVERNOR TO DECLARE AN ADDICTION PUBLIC health EMERGENCY to combat the opioid epidemic.
SOME ADVOCATES IN RECOVERY FROM ADDICTION TEARed UP RALLYING FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR FRieNDS.
“I’ve been through a lot, like all of us who are in recovery have been through a lot. I think one of the hardest things is now being in recovery and seeing people who so desperately want recovery but aren’t able to get it because they don’t have an opportunity to,” said Erica Cecala, a certified recovery peer advocate.
ACCORDING TO DATA FROM THE NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF ADDICTION SERVICES, THE NUMBER OF OPIOID OVERDOSE DEATHS HAVE NEARLY DOUBLED IN THE PAST FEW YEARS.
More than 5,300 NEW YORKERS DIED FROM AN OPIOID OVERDOSE IN 2022.
CECALA SAid ONE OF THE BIGGEST OBSTACLES FACING THIS ISSUE IS FUNDING TO ADDRESS IT.
SOME LAWMAKERS SAid IF GOv. KATHY HOCHUL DECLARES A PUBLIC EMERGENCY FOR THIS ISSUE IT COULD OPEN UP MORE DOORS FOR FUNDING AND RESOURCES.
“What she should do is bring focus to the ongoing and growing problem of addiction in our state. And bring focus by declaring it a public health emergency,” said Assembly Member Carrie Woerner (D-Assembly District 113).
GOV. HOCHUL SAID HER OFFICE IS TREATING THIS ISSUE AS AN EMERGENCY BUT WILL NOT DECLARE A PUBLIC EMERGENCY AT THIS TIME.
“What an emergency declaration does, it simply allows you to bypass the normal channels for procurement. So, yes, it’s an emergency we’re focusing on that with a sense of urgency but nothing at this time dictates that we bypass the normal channels,” said Hochul.