The Facts

Thank you very much for joining me as I signed our landmark legislation to combat the heroin and opioid crisis in New York State. With this Legislation, New York is leading the way forward in the fight against heroin and opioid addiction and taking an affirmative stand for our families and communities that have suffered from the epidemic's debilitating effects. I was proud to sign it into law on Long Island and thank you for standing with me to combat this crisis and build a better, stronger future for our communities.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Paying It Forward

Hi, my name is Dorothy Johnson. I started Maxed-Out a Non-Profit organization after suffering the devastation, and tragic loss of my only child, "Maxwell", to the shackles of addiction. I am empowered and dedicated to walk through my pain on a journey to bring Drug Awareness, Prevention, and Education of this horrific epidemic to our educators, community members and lawmakers. I am inspired to reach out to young people.

During these unsettling times when faced with peer pressure, drugs can be used as a solution to boredom and hopelessness they feel. Students need to be provided with the correct information and long term consequences in a way that relates to their world. Drugs have become more accessible to school age kids. Heroin's link to prescription drugs has caused the trend in the dramatic increase in the supply of heroin. This surge has doubled the number of overdoses and will continue to grow.

We need to take action and move forward with courage and compassion to open our doors and hearts. Leave shame behind. Don't be silent. It could be your family or friend you are standing up for. So, gain the knowledge, know the facts, and become an advocate. We need more treatment prevention, options, and facilities. Nearly everyone has been affected by the disease of addiction, either personally, by a family member, friend, or neighbor. Drug addiction is a disease that does not discriminate.

The Facts


There are approximately 28,000 annual fatal unintentional drug poisonings in the United States. (Source: Center for Disease Control.)

Drug overdose deaths are second only to car crashes for unintentional injury deaths. (Source: CDC, 2008) Deaths are largely due to misuse and abuse of prescription drugs. In the majority of deaths more than one drug is found. (Source: Leonard J. Paulozzi, M.D., M.P.H., Medical Epidemiologist National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

1.5 million Hospital Emergency Room Visits are attributed to drug misuse or overdose. (Source: Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), 2006 National ED Estimates)

Prescription Drugs

Every day 2,500 teens in the United States try prescription drugs to get high for the first time. (Source: Partnership for a Drug Free America)

60% of teens who have abused prescription painkillers did so before age 15. (Source: Partnership for a Drug Free America)

45% of those who use prior to the age of 15 will later develop an addiction. (Source: Misuse of Prescription Drugs. national Surveys on Drug Use and Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2006)

More than 29 percent of teens in treatment are dependent on tranquilizers, sedatives, amphetamines, and other stimulants (all types of prescription drugs). (Source: SAMHSA: substance Abuse Treatment Admissions by primary substance of abuse according to sex, age group, race, and ethnicity: Treatment Episode Data set 2004)

12 to 17 year olds abuse prescription drugs more than they abuse ecstasy, crack/cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine combined. (Source: Partnership for a Drug Free America)

There are as many new abusers age 12 to 17 of prescription drugs as there are of marijuana (Source: Partnership for a Drug Free America)

Nearly half (49%) of all college students either binge drink, use illicit drugs or misuse prescription drugs. (Source: Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University)