Posted by on May 17, 2016

Praises the administration and Senate for joining Assembly GOP in working to end scourge.


Today, as the governor is dispatching his heroin and opioid task force and Senate Republicans are passing legislation to bolster treatment options for struggling addicts, Assemblyman Gary D. Finch (R,C,I-Springport) is wondering why it is taking Assembly Democrats so long to come to the table with sensible solutions.

“Our conference traveled across the state and listened to addicts and their families. We listened to law enforcement officials and health care professionals. We released a comprehensive report that recommends systemic changes to how we support our friends and family members who are struggling with this. I applaud the governor and Senate for joining us in this fight. I encourage my colleagues on the other side of the aisle in the Assembly to get serious about this.”

Finch expressed disappointment in the mindset of Assembly Democrats. He doesn’t feel they fully grasp the severity of this health crisis, and he would like to see more empathy for families being torn apart by this disease. Assembly Health Committee Chairman Dick Gottfried told Politico New York that he “was not necessarily sold” that more legislation needs to be introduced to curb the heroin epidemic.

Finch has deep misgivings about one of the few proposals the Assembly Democrats have championed to eradicate the heroin epidemic, a measure that would allow addicts to shoot up in supervised spaces.

“Our solutions are based on scientific consensus- that addiction is not a moral failing, it is a disease, and the best way to treat the disease is through supervised detox, rehab and exacting follow-up care. Our solutions are based on public consensus- that insurance companies should be covering this critically important care. Their solution is to shrug and make sure the syringe your child is using has a clean needle on it,” said Finch. “We don’t accept that.”

On Saturday, Finch attended a Heroin Epidemic Action League (HEAL) event led by founder Kevin Jones in Skaneateles. Following the forum, Finch attended a training seminar to learn how to apply Narcan nasal spray.

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