Public hearings on opioid crisis to launch in the Bronx

The Senate-led sessions begin with a hearing on Aug. 9 at St. Barnabas Hospital.

The State Senate is launching a series of public hearings on the opioid crisis, kicking off with a session in the Bronx next month.

Officials said members of the Joint Senate Task Force on Opioids, Addiction and Overdose Prevention want to hear from New Yorkers about the crisis, review available services and determine what is needed in terms of legislation and programs.

Other hearings and roundtable discussions will be scheduled for locations in Central New York, Buffalo, Staten Island, the Hudson Valley, Long Island and Albany.

“Opioid misuse and addiction is an ongoing crisis that is destroying families and communities throughout New York,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said in a statement. “This epidemic impacts all communities.”

Someone dies of a drug overdose in New York City every six hours, according to the city’s Health Department. There were 1,055 confirmed overdose deaths between January and September 2018, with the largest number taking place in the Bronx.

The Bronx hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Aug. 9 at St. Barnabas Hospital. People interested in participating in the hearings are asked to RSVP to nysoverdosetaskforce@nysenate.gov.

Lisa L. Colangelo