FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 8, 2021
Josh Berkowitz: (703) 939-7056
Washington, D.C. – The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR), a national coalition working to eliminate viral hepatitis, today released the following statement from Director of Policy Daniel Raymond on New York Governor Kathy Hochul signing into law a package of bills aimed at combatting the opioid crisis:
“NVHR applauds Gov. Hochul’s decision to sign into law legislation that directly addresses the opioid crisis, which includes decriminalizing the public possession and sale of hypodermic needles and syringes. These laws will help prevent the transmission of blood-borne illnesses including hepatitis B and C, two epidemics that have surged as a consequence of the opioid crisis. They will also reduce harmful and inequitable exposure to arrest and incarceration that often drive racial and ethnic health disparities.
This legislation is the culmination of a multi-year campaign organized by harm reduction advocates in New York, including people who use drugs and others who will directly benefit from these new laws. We recognize the crucial role the advocacy community plays in these discussions and in bringing about substantive policy change. We appreciate Gov. Hochul’s leadership on this critical issue and thank the advocacy community in New York for their ongoing work.”
For more information about viral hepatitis and ongoing health initiatives to address harm reduction, treatment and recovery for people who use drugs, please visit www.nvhr.org.