NY lawmakers asked to help fund more drug treatment facilities - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

NY lawmakers asked to help fund more drug treatment facilities

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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - New York's opiate task force met Friday in Plattsburgh.

It heard from prosecutors, drug counselors and addicts, who say a crackdown on illegal prescriptions has many drug users turning to heroin and that has led to a dramatic increase in overdoses and deaths. Speakers asked lawmakers to help fund more treatment and rehab facilities in the North Country.

"I know that they've done work with methadone and Suboxone and that has its place as well but that's not the solution that's putting a Band-Aid on a wound that needs stitches," said Shawn McKeen, a recovering heroin addict.

"You have made it very, very clear to us that we need to do something and we need more services here in the North Country," said Sen. Betty Little, R-Queensbury.

Many addicts can't get help because insurance companies won't pay for treatment or rehab. Prosecutors also asked lawmakers to toughen the penalties and sentences for heroin dealers.

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