New York To Add 100 Investigators To Narcotics Unit To Combat Heroin Epidemic

Heroin overdose kit (Credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

Heroin overdose kit (Credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is adding 100 investigators to the state police narcotics unit to combat the rise of heroin use.

The additional 100 members would double the size of the Narcotics Enforcement Team.

“We’re going to give them the resources they need to make this fight,” Cuomo said Wednesday.

The state will also launch an effort to train and supply first responders with naloxone, a heroin and opioid antidote.

“They’ll be in a position to save lives and it actually has saved lives,” Cuomo said.

The Democrat also announced an awareness campaign in public colleges and universities.

“Heroin is not a problem that law enforcement alone can solve — the troopers and the sheriffs and the DAs can’t solve it, the teachers in the education system can’t solve it,” Cuomo said. “It’s going to take all of us.”

The state Legislature is also considering a series of bills to address the heroin scourge. The Republican-led Senate passed 23 heroin-related bills earlier this week and delivered them to the Assembly.

Cuomo said there were more than 89,000 cases of heroin and prescription treatment admissions in New York in 2013, up from 63,000 in 2004.

Experts said a crackdown on prescription drugs has pushed addicts to heroin, which is significantly cheaper and easier to obtain. Deaths from heroin overdoses in New York more than doubled from 215 in 2008 to 478 in 2012, according to the state Health Department.

Experts have said heroin from Mexico has flooded New York City, making Long Island a hot spot for distribution and usage.

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