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Mental Health Advocates and National Healthcare Experts Praise Mayor de Blasio's Plan to Combat Opioids Epidemic

March 13, 2017

“New York City is treating the disease of addiction as urgently as any other disease, and that parity in HealingNYC is what we need to stem this crisis,” former U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, author of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and a person in long-term recovery from an opioid addiction. “I applaud Mayor de Blasio and the First Lady for their enlightened approach in battling the opioid addiction epidemic, and for their ongoing work in changing the way we talk about this disease.”

Michael Botticelli, former Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy said: “With HealingNYC, New York City is leading the way forward by investing in proven health strategies to confront this crisis – including increasing access to treatment and using data to drive community outreach efforts. The disease of addiction affects all New Yorkers, and I commend the Mayor and his administration for using every resource possible to combat this epidemic.”

“With the HealingNYC plan, New York City is taking another important step to address the horrific epidemic of opiate overdose that has taken far too many lives in America,” said Former Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Tom Frieden. “Reversing this epidemic won’t be simple or quick – but taking immediate action to improve prescribing to prevent people from getting addicted in the first place, improve interdiction to reduce availability of illegal opiates, expand access to life-saving overdose reversal medicine, and improve access and quality of addiction treatment are critical steps to saving lives.”

“The opioid epidemic is affecting Americans from small towns to large cities like New York, regardless of age, ethnicity or economic status,” said American Psychiatric Association President Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., Ph.D. “Programs like HealingNYC are needed to address this problem. What is truly helpful is that HealingNYC places an emphasis on intervention, stopping addiction before it happens.”

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