Lawyer Nicholas Hicks reveals how New York legislation plans to better track opioid-related deaths.
On November 5th, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York approved new legislation requiring death certificates to label the specific opioids involved. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks of New York explains that the measure will help public health officials track opioid use and better address the ongoing opioid crisis in their state.
Before this legislation, if a person died from an opioid overdose, there was no requirement for medical practitioners to list which opioids were the cause of death. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks notes that the new legislation has been put into effect immediately.
The information will allow officials to have a better understanding of which communities are most at risk for opioid addiction and overdose. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks explains that once at-risk communities are detected, officials will be able to provide resources for substance abuse prevention. Officials can also use location to track the spread of drugs.
Additionally, it will help officials determine which drugs are the most deadly. Surrounding hospitals and medical facilities benefit from knowing this information, so they are prepared for potential emergencies. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks notes that once drugs are pinpointed, more effective treatment strategies can be put into place across a wide range of fields.
“New York has taken the most aggressive actions to combat the opioid crisis of any other state in the country,” Cuomo said. “This common sense law will go to great lengths to ensure we have the most accurate information to be able to stop this public health scourge once and for all.”
In 2018, it was estimated that more than 47,000 people in the United States died from opioid overdoses alone. Street drugs like heroin are not solely to blame. Approximately 10 million people misused prescription opioids in the United States in 2018.
The consequences of opioid abuse are devastating to families and communities. In addition to its strain on public health, the crisis also strains the economy and threatens our national security. Unfortunately, some people turn from prescription pain killers to street heroin and fentanyl.
New York lawmakers are being citizens and communities across the State for their immediate action in addressing the ongoing opioid crisis.
Starting from an early age, Nicholas Hicks was rescued from NYC foster care at the age of 5 years old. Nicholas Hicks attended both public and private schools where he eventually graduated from ECC, UB & UB Law School.