NEW YORK - The state's Republican-led Senate has passed nearly two dozen bills to curb a rise in heroin use.
The majority coalition passed 23 out of 25 bills introduced last month following a series of statewide forums on heroin and opioid use. Experts say a crackdown on prescription pills has pushed addicts to heroin, which is significantly cheaper.
The legislative package would limit prescriptions for acute pain, increase penalties for selling drugs on playgrounds and allow schools to administer naloxone, an antidote for overdoses. It would also create a statewide heroin awareness program.
Just last month, the NYPD and MTA also announced that its officers would begin carrying naloxone kits.
The bills now go to the state's Democratic-led Assembly before reaching Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk for final approval.