Gov. Cuomo announces $213M to fight heroin, opioid epidemic

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ALBANY – Gov. Cuomo on Wednesday said the heroin and opioid addiction epidemic was the “worst drug scourge” the nation has ever faced.

“This is worse than crack,” Cuomo said during an appearance in Suffolk County to herald $213 million in new state funding to fight the epidemic.

“This is worse than meth, this is worse than old-time heroin,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo cited statistics showing that 91 Americans die each day from heroin or opioid abuse and that 33,000 Americans died from the crisis in 2015.

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The governor said the epidemic was especially prevalent in rural and suburban areas, including Long Island.

“It’s everywhere,” Cuomo said. “It can seduce you legally, which is where a lot of it starts.”

The $200 million, which was approved as part of the state’s newly adopted budget, includes $145 million for community-based service providers, $27 million for state-operated treatment centers, $6 million for Naloxone kits and training and $25 million for counseling programs.

“It’s double the funding from last year,” Cuomo said.

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