Governor Cuomo’s Task Force comes to Schenectady to talk about heroin crisis

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Governor Andrew Cuomo’s taskforce met in Schenectady on Tuesday to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic.

The session was held at Proctors Theater in Schenectady.

Those impacted by addiction shared their stories and called for more resources to battle the heroin crisis such as easier access to Naloxone and more health plans and service providers for those fighting addiction.

“I’m doing this for her,” Patricia Farrell said through tears. “I’m doing this for her, and I’m doing it because of her because I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for losing her. So I want everybody to see who she is.”

Farrell clutched a photo of her late daughter, Laree, as she stood in front of a crowd at the Capitol. Tuesday was Patricia’s birthday, and her only wish is for the senate to pass new legislation that would help fight opioid addiction, which took her teenager’s life.

“I lost her because of this poison,” Farrell said.

On Tuesday, the New York State Senate voted on 48 separate legislative recommendations to battle heroin and opioid addiction. Twenty-two of them passed.

The recommendations are part of what a senate task force is calling a four pronged approach to fighting the disease: targeting prevention, treatment, recovery and enforcement.

“This is a blueprint for what they’ve been talking about,” Sen. George Amedore said.

Amedore is on the taskforce. He said opioid addiction is a problem that does not discriminate against any community, socio economic status or person; therefore, at the Capitol, legislators can’t discriminate bills that fight it.

“This is not a republican, a democrat, or just a political issue,” he said. “This is a quality of life issue. No matter where you go in the state of New York, every single corner of every single county has this problem.”

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