Albany, NY - October 18, 2016 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of five public service announcements as part of a campaign to urge New Yorkers to join together in the fight against addiction. The statewide #CombatAddiction campaign emphasizes the far-reaching effects of addiction and connects New Yorkers with information and support services through social media, bilingual public service announcements and a print ad that will be posted on the New York City Subway system and on the Staten Island Ferry.
"This campaign seeks to educate New Yorkers of the full impact of addiction and how get help for themselves or their loved ones," Governor Cuomo said. "Addiction knows no bounds, and its devastating effects can be felt in every community across the state, but we must stand together to combat this disease and to build a stronger, healthier New York for all."
The ads direct individuals to a #CombatAddiction webpage, which includes informational sections for individuals, families, friends, medical practitioners, law enforcement, educators, and community organizations. Resources are available to help raise awareness about addiction and provide assistance and guidance on how everyone can help. The site also includes links to helpful websites and videos with real New Yorkers sharing their stories about their progression to addiction, from alcohol to other drugs, along with their path to recovery.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Co-Chair of the Governor's Heroin and Opioid Task Force, said, "As I travel across the State, I continue to hear first-hand from families who have experienced devastating losses brought on by addiction. In addition to the comprehensive legislation signed into law in June, the #CombatAddiction campaign is another step in the right direction as we continue to attack this disease from all angles. In the name of those whose lives have been torn apart, New York State continues to be a leader at all levels in the fight against addiction."
New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said, "You don’t have to look far to see the impacts of addiction. It doesn’t discriminate and has touched every community across the state. This #CombatAddiction campaign is a call to action for all New Yorkers to continue having open conversations about addiction. The campaign’s slogan rings true, 'It is going to take all of us;' we all need to come together to combat this disease."
The #CombatAddiction campaign comes on the heels of the listening sessions held by the Governor’s Task Force to Combat Heroin across New York State and is a continuation of the Governor’s ongoing efforts to fight addiction. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health states that 1.4 million New York State residents suffer from a substance use disorder. According to SAMHSA's 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 21.5 million adults had a substance use disorder in the past year. However, estimates show that only around 11 percent of those who need treatment receive it.
In June 2016, Governor Cuomo signed a package of bills that includes wide-ranging initiatives to address the state's current heroin and opioid crisis, including provisions to limit the over-prescription of opioids and remove barriers to access for inpatient treatment and medication. The legislation ensures that issues and concerns raised by individuals in recovery, families, and treatment providers across the state are proactively addressed.
New Yorkers struggling with an addiction or whose loved ones are struggling can find help and hope by calling the State’s toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369). Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, community residence, or outpatient care can be found on the NYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard or on the NYS OASAS website.
Visit the Combat Heroin website for more information on addressing heroin and prescription opioid abuse, including a Kitchen Table Tool Kit to help start the conversation about the warning signs of addiction and where to get help.
For tools to use in talking to a young person about preventing alcohol or drug use, visit the State’s Talk2Prevent website.