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Details on heroin prevention/treatment deal emerge (Updated)

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -- The full announcement on the deal struck last night by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders is expected to be announced early this morning.

But here are some details -- admittedly lacking in specifics at this early (for Albany) hour -- in the 11-bill package:

1: expanded insurance coverage for patients going to health care providers who specialize in substance abuse services. Insurers also must continue providing coverage for addiction services during appeals process. Requires NY insurers to comply with federal substance abuse parity laws.

2: A new public awareness campaign to be run, using social and mass media outlets, by Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and the Department of Health.

3: two demonstration programs dealing with long-term recovery programs and case management. One calls for creation of new model of detox and transitional services. Designed for those needing help but not facing need for serious medical care. Idea is to reduce reliance on ER visits. Second demonstration program creates Wraparound Services Demonstration Program, with various services (social services, job help, transportation, legal services, etc) continuing for nine months to try to prevent relapse problems for people with addiction problems.

4: Education campaign re: use of naxolone on overdose victims. Naloxone kits must include card with step-by-step instructions first responder or others take following administration of drug to victim, along with information for victim on seeking treatment and support services.

5: Allows parents of a minor with drug addiction to get assessment of problem under Persons in Need of Supervision services, opening door for access to variety of help programs.

6: new addiction awareness programs -- on an "age appropriate basis'' -- in junior and senior high schools.

7: strengthening of penalties for criminal sale of controlled substances by health care providers and pharmacists. Makes the crime a Class C felony.

8: Allows state narcotics enforcement bureau at Health Department to directly obtain criminal histories of people they are investigating for possible illegal diversion of prescription drugs.

 

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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