BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – New York State is working on adding more tools to reverse a heroin epidemic.
Activists, including Avi Israel, are still fighting to pass one more bill that would mandate doctors be educated about addiction and the side effects of prescribing certain medications, which contain opiates and can lead to heroin abuse.
Albany lawmakers passed eight new measures to stop the heroin epidemic, including better treatment options from insurance companies and harsher penalties for drug dealers.
One thing left out – more education for doctors who prescribe pills that can lead to heroin addictions.
Israel wants people to think of the impact education could have.
“People falling off the cliff and everybody is screaming to build a hospital at the bottom of the cliff to take care of the injured people, but if they just put a guardrail up, there there wouldn’t be any more people falling off the cliff. That guardrail is more education for doctors, that guardrail is education in recognizing addiction.”
According to Israel, the legislation was stalled by Assemblywoman Deb Glick, D-Manhattan.
“My heart goes out to the individuals who’ve had these tragedies, but the committee usually doesn’t dictate what should be in continuing education, we don’t mandate a curriculum,” she said in a statement. “It’s not opposition outright; we are open to discussing it as we go forward.”