Assemblyman Graf Discusses Drug Abuse Prevention With Swedish Representative

April 14, 2016

The Heroin Elimination and Prevention Plan (HELP) was established by the Assembly Minority’s Task Force on Heroin Addiction and Community Response

Assemblyman Al Graf (R,C,I-Holbrook) recently met with a representative from Queen Silvia of Sweden’s office to discuss drug abuse prevention programs in our schools.

“It’s amazing how far the work we did on heroin addiction has gotten around. Not only is this a problem in our State and many other states, but the epidemic is touching countries across the globe,” said Graf. “Hopefully our report can serve as a guide in combating the crisis of addiction.”

The Assembly Minority’s Task Force on Heroin Addiction and Community Response established the Heroin Elimination and Prevention Plan (HELP). According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heroin deaths quadrupled between 2002 and 2013. The Task Force held seven forums throughout the state to gather information from local officials, health care providers, parents of addicted children, and individuals addicted to heroin on the crippling effects of addiction, the cost to communities, and the cost to families.

The HELP Plan proposes education strategies, the creation of support tools and advocacy programs, and increasing funding and improving methods for treatment and recovery by those impacted by the heroin epidemic.

In addition, the Assembly Minority Conference has recently sponsored four different pieces of legislation addressing the heroin epidemic, which include involuntary substance abuse admission procedures, directing the commissioner to promulgate rules and regulations governing certain controlled substances, requiring health insurance coverage for substance use disorder treatment services, and criminal possession of fentanyl.

“The heroin epidemic is affecting people from all walks of life,” said Graf. “The HELP Plan is designed to help address this crisis. Innovative ideas, opportunities, and programs will certainly be considered as we continue collaborating with individuals from other states and countries to combat heroin addiction.”