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New York Governor Kathy Hochul stands at a podium next to a sign reading "treating addiction and preventing overdoses."
As Overdoses Soar, Addiction Treatment Funding Stagnates

Hochul’s budget would level off funding for addiction treatment — and use opioid settlement funds to fill the gaps.

Spencer Norris   ·   February 13, 2024
New York City Governor Kathy Hochul stands behind a podium reading "Combatting the Opioid Epidemic"
In Upstate New York, Treatment for Opioid Addiction Gets Harder to Find

The average New Yorker has to travel nearly 10 miles to access methadone, a New York Focus analysis found. Upstate, they have to go even further.

Spencer Norris   ·   January 23, 2024
Kathy Hochul stands with her hands spread at a podium reading "Combatting the Opioid Epidemic"
With Overdose Deaths at All-Time High, Hochul Ignores Calls to Declare Emergency

The governor has neglected to announce a public emergency over the increasingly deadly opioid epidemic. Observers are perplexed.

Spencer Norris   ·   December 14, 2023
New NYPD officers smile amid blue and white confetti at police academy graduation ceremony.
NYPD Instructs Officers to Tase, Pepper Spray People Experiencing Debunked Syndrome

Police training materials link the discredited “excited delirium syndrome” to synthetic marijuana use.

Chris Gelardi   ·   December 12, 2023
As Overdose Deaths Mount in New York Prisons, Treatment Program Crawls

The prison department doesn’t track overdose deaths in its custody. A New York Focus analysis found that the overdose death rate has tripled.

Jake Neenan   ·   November 9, 2023
Exterior of a hospital with cars and motorcycles parked in front
Despite State Measures, New Yorkers Fear Health Care Over Medical Debt Lawsuits

Recent legislation has sought to rein in medical debt collection. But the bills don’t stop lawsuits in the first place — and some patients decline care out of financial concern.

Churchill Ndonwie   ·   October 27, 2023
New York Sheriffs Tried to Kill Jail Opioid Treatment Law

The Sheriffs’ Association lobbied against a bill to provide medication for opioid addiction in jails. Since it passed, they’ve failed to evaluate thousands of people for treatment.

Spencer Norris   ·   October 12, 2023
Mayor Eric Adams standing with his back to the camera, facing a poster reading "Rikers Island NYCD".
Rikers Programs Suffer After Cuts, Despite Mayor’s Promises

The Adams administration said the city would replace discontinued Rikers courses. “I can say for certain that that’s not true,” one worker told New York Focus.

Sam Mellins   ·   September 28, 2023
Broome County jail from the exterior
‘Doom County Jail’: Dysfunction Plagues Program for Incarcerated Opioid Users

Men locked up in the Broome County jail describe an opioid treatment program so shoddy, they risk withdrawal, relapse, and overdose.

Spencer Norris   ·   September 27, 2023
Corner view of Fusion Recovery building shot from the parking lot.
As Overdose Deaths Climb in Albany County, Towns Rail Against Opioid Treatment Clinics

The addiction epidemic is getting worse in the Capital Region. Through local zoning laws, residents fight to keep the state’s solutions out of their backyards.

Spencer Norris   ·   August 21, 2023
Darkened courthouse in New York City
New York Drug Courts Are a Black Box

Mixed evidence was piling up about a signature New York drug policy experiment. Then the state stopped releasing the data.

Spencer Norris   ·   August 4, 2023
Ambulances in front of the NY State Capitol Building in Albany.
Patients Need Kidneys. A Law to Boost Donations Is Stuck in Limbo.

The health department has blown past deadlines to implement legislation encouraging lifesaving transplants — along with at least five other laws.

Sam Mellins and Ellie Gonzales   ·   July 28, 2023
Empty chairs in a circle with the shadows of jail bars over it.
New York Mandates Peer Support in Jails, But Lets Sheriffs Keep Peers Out

Formerly incarcerated “peers” offer drug counseling to people in county jails — when they can get in.

Spencer Norris   ·   May 31, 2023
Governor Kathy Hochul speaks before a screen with a Shirley Chisolm quote, reading: "You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines... You make progress by implementing ideas."
Hochul Inches Toward Health Insurance for Undocumented Immigrants

While the governor awaits guidance from the federal government, thousands of undocumented New Yorkers can’t afford to go to the doctor.

Sam Mellins   ·   May 19, 2023
Hochul Ditched Promise of Health Insurance for Undocumented People. She Could Cost New York $500 Million.

The move will leave tens of thousands of undocumented New Yorkers uninsured.

Sam Mellins   ·   February 9, 2023
Thousands of New York City Nurses Are on Strike. Statewide, a New Law Drove Bitter Staffing Debates

The law was supposed to deliver safer staffing ratios. Instead, it raised tensions at one in four New York hospitals.

Maxwell Parrott   ·   January 5, 2023
As Hochul’s Deadline Nears, Law Professors Urge Against ‘Activist Conservative’ for Chief Judge

Dozens of law professors are raising the alarm over Judge Hector LaSalle’s rulings on ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ and union protections. Hispanic and Latino lawyers’ groups say his appointment would be a win for diversity.

Sam Mellins   ·   December 19, 2022
New York City Has 25 Days to Settle Retirees’ Switch to Privatized Insurance, Arbitrator Rules

The ruling puts pressure on the city to finalize a Medicare Advantage plan for a quarter million retirees — and may lead to the elimination of Senior Care.

Sam Mellins   ·   December 15, 2022
Here’s Every Bill Hochul Hasn’t Signed

The governor has three weeks and 265 potential laws to consider. New York Focus compiled them all.

New York Focus   ·   December 12, 2022
Blind Spots: Sexual Assault Allegation Exposes Self-Policing Prison System

Robert Adams alleges that a guard sodomized him with a baton. A year-long investigation into his story uncovered a system plagued by retaliation and primed for abuse.

Victoria Law   ·   November 3, 2022
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