New Windsor, NY -- (10/13/18) Local Independent Pharmacists and 99th Assembly District candidate Colin Schmitt today held a press conference announcing efforts to combat the opioid and heroin epidemic gripping our region at Washingtonville Pharmacy.
During the press conference Colin Schmitt announced his plan to help combat the epidemic in the State Assembly and was joined by members of the Pharmacists Society of Orange County to announce new steps local independent pharmacies are taking to assist in fighting the scourge.
A key point of Colin’s campaign platform is to work to solve the heroin epidemic by focusing on prevention, treatment, recovery and law enforcement.
Significant proposals include:
Passage of Laree’s Law which creates the crime of Homicide by Sale of an Opiate Controlled Substance, a class A-I felony. This bill has passed the State Senate numerous times but has stalled in the State Assembly. ((A.3398)
Passage of Substance Use Disorder Treatment Mandate – Require insurance companies to cover at least seven days of detox treatment and 30 days of rehabilitation services for substance use disorders. (A.4721)
Implementation of new Sober Homes standards – Improve the operations of sober homes by requiring certification of sober homes and requiring inspections to ensure adequate conditions for individuals residing in sober homes (A.10870)
Passage of new Prescribing Guidelines – Require the Department of Health to establish limitations on the amount of certain Schedule II controlled substances, most notably opioids, which can be prescribed during the specific course of treatment (A.4778)
Introduction of new legislation that will establish a funding mechanism for local police departments to create a dedicated drug task forces to target the opioid epidemic.
Colin Schmitt stated, “The heroin and opioid epidemic has affected so many in our community and it shows no signs of ceasing. We need to take continued action to make a difference. Since the early days of this crisis I have been on the front lines of helping host some of the first community roundtables and NARCAN trainings in the state. Recently, using grants I have helped bring numerous NARCAN trainings to our community and I am working with law enforcement to target drug dealers who prey on our community. Yet, we must do more. That is why when elected to the State Assembly I will seek to further the battle against the opioid epidemic through the passage of critical legislation and increases in budget funding. I will also look to form partnerships, like we have done today with our local area independent pharmacies, to ensure every front in this battle is covered.”
Al Squitieri, President of the Pharmacists Society of Orange County and owner of Slate Hill Pharmacy, formally announced that local independent pharmacies will now be certified to provide training on administering NARCAN. This significant step forward makes area independent pharmacies “trained to train” people on NARCAN. This is in addition to independent pharmacies now being non-prescription dispensers of NARCAN.
Al Squitieri stated, “Our local pharmacies are on the front lines of fighting the heroin and opioid crisis. While we already have numerous measures in place we wanted to go further. That is why after this weekend independent pharmacies in our area will be equipement to provide training on the administration of NARCAN and all will be non-prescription NARCAN dispensers. We also are excited by Colin Schmitt’s legislation proposals and look forward to working with him to advance more solutions to this crisis.”
Schmitt stated, “I applaud our local independent pharmacies for taking these crucial steps. We are all in this together to battle this epidemic and I look forward to partnering with Al and all our local pharmacies and all community leaders to end this crisis.”
Mark Freitas, owner of Washingtonville Pharmacy stated, “I want to thank Colin Schmitt for coming today and advocating for community pharmacists in playing an important role in addressing and preventing opioid overdose. In addition to the increased access to naloxone, we also have other strategies to address overdose like good Samaritan laws, prescription monitoring programs, prescription drug take back events, safe opioid prescribing education and the expansion of opioid agonist treatment.”
Sammie Shah, owner of K&K Pharmacy stated, “I would like to thank Colin Schmitt for making this a central theme of his campaign. PSOC has been working with pharmacies in Orange and Sullivan to dispense NARCAN without a prescription, most of the time for free. Thank you Colin for working with us, we look forward to working together to solve this issue together.”
Chief Mike Bigg, New Windsor Volunteer Ambulance Corps stated, “This initiative is great. Colin’s support of the Ambulance Corp and First Responders is amazing. Anything we can do is better than where we are at right now. We appreciate all the support from Colin and the pharmacists to make this issue better.”
Colin Schmitt, candidate for State Assembly is joined by Al Squitieri RPh, Slate Hill Neigborx Pharmacy Stephen Andrews RPh and Megan Ward Baxter's Pharmacy Goshen, Samir K Shah RPh K & K Pharmacy Liberty, Lewis Klein RPh Medicine Chest New Windsor, Mark Freitas RPh Washingtonville Pharmacy, Chief Mike Bigg New Windsor Ambulance Corps, Mayor Bucco Washingtonville, Legislator Kathy Stegenga, Kevin Radday.
Full video link: goo.gl/UfJ7vc
Colin Schmitt is committed to public service. Colin is a member of the U.S. Army National Guard and chief-of-staff for New Windsor’s town government. Previously, Colin served as Director of Operations for the NYS Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs. Colin and his wife, Nikki, live in the Town of New Windsor.