New York Legalizes Syringe Possession, Expands Treatment for Opioid Sufferers

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Possession of a syringe, hypodermic needles and other drug-related paraphernalia will no longer be a criminal offense under a law signed by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul Thursday. The legislation is part of a wide-ranging package of measures that will also help incarcerated New Yorkers fighting substance abuse receive expanded medication-assisted treatment, reported Hudson Valley 360 and other media outlets. Several people who lost loved ones, advocates, and lawmakers joined the governor, who lost her own nephew to an overdose, at John Jay College in Manhattan, where she signed five bills to fight the opioid crisis. More than 80 percent of incarcerated New Yorkers are believed to suffer from a substance use disorder. “Today is a leap forward for addressing overdose in New York,” said Melissa Moore, director of the state’s branch of the Drug Policy Alliance in a statement.

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