Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Over $25 Million in Federal Funding to Combat Opioid Epidemic in New York State

Apr 21, 2017

New York, NY – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $ 25,260,676 in federal funding to the State of New York to combat opioid addiction. The funding was allocated through the Department of Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants. Specifically, the funding administered through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will support prevention, treatment, and recovery service programs.

“The opioid and heroin crisis in New York is a symptom of a national emergency that’s taken the lives of far too many Americans,” said Senator Schumer. “This federal funding, made possible by the 21st Century Cures Act, will help combat this national crisis by supporting prevention, treatment and recovery programs. I pledge to continue to fight for federal funding that will help us turn the tide against this tragic scourge.”

“Too many lives have been destroyed, too many families have been torn apart, and too many communities all over New York are suffering because of this tragic epidemic,” said Senator Gillibrand. “These federal funds would allow New York State to fight the opioid epidemic by investing in treatment and services programs. I will continue working with my colleagues in the Senate to fight for the health and wellbeing of all New Yorkers.”

Last year, Senator Gillibrand introduced the bipartisan legislation Preventing Overprescribing for Pain Act, legislation that would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue guidelines for the safe prescribing of opioids for the treatment of acute pain. 

The Facts On the Growing Opioid Epidemic:

  • Nearly 2 million Americans abuse or are addicted to prescription opioids, and nearly half a million more are addicted to heroin according to SAMHSA.
  • In 2015, nearly more than 33,000 people died in the United States from overdose related to opioids, more than any year on record, according to CDC.
  • The increase in opioid addiction is linked to an increase in opioid prescriptions. Between 1999 and 2010, there was a 400% increase in sales of prescription opioid pain relievers in the U.S. Over the same time period, there has not been an increase in the amount of pain Americans report according to CDC.
  • In 2012, health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid pain relievers – enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills according to CDC.
  • Teenagers who receive an opioid prescription by 12th grade are 33% more likely to abuse opioids after high school. The risk for opioid abuse is even higher among teenagers who report little to no previous use of illicit substances according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  • In a paper published by the American Dental Association in 2011, 64% of dentists surveyed preferred prescribing the opioid hydrocodone with acetaminophen for a third molar extraction, for an average of 20 pills per prescription. 

4 in 5 individuals who use heroin report prior abuse of prescription opioids, according to SAMHSA