Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal Charts Aggressive Path Forward Once Again as Reappointed Chair of the Assembly Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

January 4, 2019

New York, NY – Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) was selected to once again chair the Assembly Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse in the 2019-20 Legislative Session.

“Overdose rates continue to rise in every part of New York, yet state financing has not increased to match the pace of this growing epidemic. If we’re serious about saving lives, then we must commit serious resources to providers who are on the front lines of this epidemic. As Chair once again this session, I intend to work closely with advocates, treatment providers and my new partners in the State Senate to see that we pass a meaningful budget that prioritizes New Yorkers and their families as they struggle with this public health crisis,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal.

Despite the magnitude of the crisis, funding for addiction services increased only marginally between 2017 and 2018. New York must commit additional resources to proven harm reduction methods, such as providing access to medication assisted treatment (MAT) on demand. Importantly, we must ensure incarcerated individuals in state and local correctional facilities have access to MAT. We must also ensure all first responders and others receive training to administer lifesaving naloxone and kits, expanding access to syringe exchange programs and establish the first safer consumption space in New York, removing barriers to treatment created by commercial insurers, and ensuring funding continuity with or without the Opioid Stewardship Fund, which is wrapped up in litigation.

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal will be working with advocates to pass legislation on these issue areas and more.

Addiction is not a crime or a moral failure, it is a disease, and one that we know how to treat. Now, we must ensure that medical practitioners in all primary care settings have the ability, expertise and support needed to identify the signs of addiction and prescribe MAT. The more people equipped to treat addiction, the more lives we will save,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal.

“With New York in the midst of a devastating overdose crisis, Assembly Member Rosenthal has demonstrated bold leadership as committee chair by supporting evidence-based, life-saving interventions such as Overdose Prevention Centers and expanding Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in New York State jails and prisons. She has championed implementing supervised consumption sites,” said Housing Works CEO Charles King. “She is steadfastly dedicated to improving services for New Yorkers who struggle with substance use.”

"ASAP would like to thank Speaker Heastie for reappointing Assemblymember Rosenthal as Chair of the Assembly Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee. Her leadership and ability to collaborate with her colleagues in both the Assembly and Senate has been invaluable in advancing policies that address the opioid pandemic and other critical issues. We look forward to working with the Assemblymember in the coming session and congratulate her on her reappointment," said John Coppola, Executive Director of the New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers (ASAP).

“Assemblymember Rosenthal's leadership within the Alcoholism and SUD Committee has been vital as New York and the country contends with the overdose crisis. She has fully embraced harm reduction as a philosophy and a suite of interventions while continuing to champion transformative and necessary legislation. DPA values her leadership and we look forward to working with her during the upcoming legislative session,” Dionna King, Policy Manager, Drug Policy Alliance.

“Assemblymember Rosenthal is a strong and experienced leader in fighting the Opioid Epidemic. We look forward to working on our shared goals for the 2019-20 legislative session" said Allegra Schorr, President of the Coalition of Medication Assisted Treatment Providers and Advocates.

“We are looking forward to continuing our work with Assemblymember Rosenthal in her role as Chair of the Assembly Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee during the upcoming session,” said Allison Weingarten, Interim Executive Director of Friends of Recovery-NY. “While there is a lot of work to do, New York State has made great progress in recent years expanding access to prevention, treatment and recovery support services. We look forward to building upon that success in 2019.”