Cuomo names task force to address ongoing heroin problem

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has appointed a task force aimed at ending what he called a crisis of heroin and opioid addiction continuing to plague families and communities in New York.

The group is chaired by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez, commissioner of the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.

The other 21 members include representatives of health care, drug treatment, advocacy, law enforcement and education.

They’re expected to hold public listening sessions and develop a statewide coordinated plan.

State efforts so far include expanding insurance coverage for treatment and a law requiring drug prescribers to consult a state database to check patient prescription histories. Officials credit that for a 90 percent decrease in “doctor shoppers” seeking multiple opioid prescriptions.

The task force was announced Tuesday. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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