On Wednesday, the Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction released a report, along with 25 bills, that are intended to raise awareness, help law enforcement agencies and increase treatment options to address the recent sudden surge in heroin and opioid abuse.

The Task Force held 17 hearings across the state since March, taking testimony from more than 200 people and hearing over 50 hours of testimony.  Those testifying included parents whose children have become addicted to heroin, law enforcement officials, and treatment and medical officials.

The Senate is expected to take up at least some of the 25 bills before the end of the legislative session next month. The legislative package includes bills that would establish new drug-prevention programs and anti-relapse initiatives, to increased penalties for drug dealers, and controls on the amount of certain drugs that can be prescribed for acute pain.

The Joint Task Force is holding one more hearing, on the Seneca Nation of Indians Cattaraugus Territory, on June 4th at 1 pm.