01.02.18

SCHUMER REVEALS: NEW REPORT SAYS OPIOID SCOURGE TAKING HUGE TOLL; STATEN ISLAND IS AT NYC'S OPIOID EPICENTER; SENATOR LAUNCHES PUSH TO FIGHT CRISIS & INCREASE FED FUNDS TO NEW YORK AS BUDGET DEAL LOOMS

New Data Shows 2016 Rate of Drug Overdose Deaths in the U.S. Increased by 21 Percent; Staten Island Has Not Been Spared, With Highest Rate of Overdose Deaths in All of NYC 

Schumer Says Startling New Data Serves as Shot Across the Bow And Reason We Must Secure Additional Federal Funds Here At Home

 Schumer: SI Depends On Upcoming Budget Deal To Beat Back Opioid Scourge 

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today launched a public push to fight the deadly opioid crisis and said he will do everything in his power to secure additional federal funds to help New York State beat back this scourge. Schumer pointed to a recently released report that says life expectancy in the United States has fallen for the second year in a row, which researchers suggest is in part due to the opioid epidemic. In 2016, the rate of drug overdose deaths was 21 percent higher than the rate in 2015. With the looming budget deal in Congress, Schumer said now is the time to push for federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grants that will help fund prevention, treatment and recovery service programs in New York. Schumer is launching his public push on Staten Island, which he says is at New York City's opioid epicenter and therefore, seriously depends on additional funds in the upcoming budget deal to combat its opioid epidemic.

“The opioid crisis on Staten Island and throughout New York is a symptom of a national emergency that’s taken the lives of far too many Americans,” said Senator Schumer. “Federal funding, made possible by the 21st Century Cures Act, helps communities combat this national crisis by supporting prevention, treatment and recovery programs that could help us turn the tide against this tragic scourge. As budget deal negotiations continue, I will do everything in my power to secure additional grant funds in New York that could help Staten Island beat back the opioid epidemic." 

According to a report released by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics titled, “Mortality in the United States,” life expectancy in the United States has fallen for the second year in a row. The last time U.S. life expectancy dropped for two years in a row was in the 1960s. According to the report, U.S. life expectancy fell from 78.7 in 2015 to 78.6 in 2016; this follows a drop from 78.9 in 2014.

Researchers suggest the opioid epidemic has contributed to the new life expectancy decline. A separate report conducted by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics titled, “Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States,” says that the rate of drug overdose deaths in 2016 was 21 percent higher than the rate in 2015. Specifically, in 2016 there were more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in the United States, and more than 42,200 of them were attributed to opioids; in 2015 more than 52,400 deaths were attributed to overdoses, and 33,000 of them involved opioids. The rate of drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, doubled between 2015 to 2016, from 3.1 to 6.2 per 100,000.

Schumer said that New York City has not been spared by the drug abuse epidemic. According to the NYC Department of Health, there was a total of 1,374 unintentional drug overdose deaths in all of New York City in 2016, compared to 937 unintentional drug overdose deaths in 2015—an increase of 437. Approximately four fatal drug overdoses occurred each day in New York City in 2016.

Schumer today said that, in New York, the drug epidemic on Staten Island has been particularly disheartening. In 2016, there were 116 unintentional overdoses on Staten Island; the borough had the highest rate per capita in all of New York City.  In 2015, there were 69 unintentional drug overdose deaths on Staten Island. Schumer said those numbers could have been higher if not for the use of the life-saving antidote, naloxone.

With the federal budget deal looming in Congress, Schumer today said that now is the time to fight for an increase in funds to combat opioid addiction in New York State. Specifically, Schumer pointed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants provided under the 21st Century CURES Act. These grants are provided to each state to help combat the opioid crisis. The pot of funding is administered through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and supports prevention, treatment, and recovery service programs.

In 2017, $485 million in Opioid Crisis Grants were awarded to states across the country. Of that, New York State received $25 million, or just 5 percent of the total pot. Schumer said that, according to the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the economic cost of the opioid epidemic was $504 billion in 2015.

Schumer today said, as Senate Minority Leader, he will do everything in his power to fight for an increase in opioid crisis grant funds for New York State. Schumer said that Staten Island in particular depends on the upcoming budget deal to beat back its opioid scourge and that organizations on Staten Island could use the funds for prevention and treatment programs throughout the borough. 



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