New York State Governor Kathy Hochul recently celebrated the launch of the new Interagency Task Force on Overdose Prevention, chaired by Commissioners Dr. Chinazo Cunningham from the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports and Dr. James McDonald from the New York State Department of Health,
“In my 2023 State of the State address, I outlined our commitment to taking further steps to care for New Yorkers struggling with addiction across our state through the creation of the Interagency Task Force on Overdose Prevention,” Hochul stated of the task force. “Turning the tide on illegal substance use requires full coordination across our agencies, and today we take the next step in this ongoing vital work.”
The group includes a wide panel of experts across a total of 17 different New York state agencies and is tasked with reviewing issues in substance use including prevention, treatment, recovery, and harm reduction strategies, as well as substance use interaction in the areas of education, healthcare, criminal justice, housing, and other social service entities.
“The opioid crisis is not just a public health issue - it is a crisis of humanity that touches every corner of the State,” remarked New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald of the task force. “Governor Hochul’s new Task Force on Overdose Prevention brings all facets of state government together to identify areas for greater collaboration and make specific recommendations on treatment, recovery, and harm reduction programs to expand access to care and save more lives.”
The first report from the group is expected in Fall 2023.
“We continue to experience the worst overdose crisis in history,” New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports Commissioner and Task Force on Overdose Prevention Chair Dr. Chinazo Cunningham commented of the task force. “Governor Hochul’s Inter-Agency Overdose Epidemic Task Force will generate greater collaboration through education, cross training, and sharing of resources to help enhance the State’s efforts to save lives. Bringing so many agencies together to discuss their roles in addressing the epidemic is critically important.”